About the Book
Release Date: August 15, 2015
"Dazzling Greek Isles can hide sinister secrets."
Leaving town, heading to the Greek Isles without telling husband or friends, is heady medicine for a failing marriage. Seduced by Grecian sun and sky, Jenna innocently buys a bewitching urn that tangles her into the web of a criminal world more sinister than she ever imagined. Romance is always afoot in the Greek Isles and Jenna gets a large helping with the seductive Nikos. Family is important in Greece, and Nikos helps Jenna learn all the richness it brings, and pass it on to the next generation.
Twenty-five years later, Allie takes this same journey, and a little time travel, a big “what if” dream, a fated meeting with a taxi driver and a sprinkle of paranormal intrigue intertwine in a story that spans the lives of a mother and daughter. Twisty as the streets in a Greek island village, full of unexpected characters found on a faraway vacation along with frightening threats from nasty villains, Jenna’s Journey will keep you turning pages far into the night.
Working out a lifetime of secrets, imagining what might have been, eluding nasty antiquities thieves, exploring a new love—how would you have managed? Follow Jenna’s adventure and see how she changed her life in one journey!
Background for the Book:
Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in the Greek Islands Series series. The story was inspired by the time I lived in Greece during the 1980s. Some thirty years later I was looking out of the window of my home in Gloucestershire on a wintry morning, idly wondering how my life would have been different if I’d stayed in Greece. I hadn’t intended to write a novel. Jenna’s Journey started life as a short story and thanks to a timely encounter with a fellow writer who persuaded me to turn it into a novel, it took on a life of its own and became the start of the Greek Island mystery series.
I’ve always been interested in fate or destiny, whatever you wish to call it, and this book is about all the ‘what ifs’ in life. It’s also about grabbing a chance of happiness with both hands when it’s offered – life really is too short!
Jenna and Nikos, 1987
The taverna ‘Aphrodite’ turned out to be almost next door to the hotel in a quiet little square with tables set out under an old plane tree. Jenna made a mental note to find out why the Greeks painted the bottom of the trees white. They sat down at a rickety white wooden table with wooden chairs also painted white and which didn’t quite match, but which added to the overall charm. They discovered that there wasn’t a menu as such, but a few of the freshly cooked dishes were written up on a blackboard by the entrance. When she discovered that their waiter was indeed Nikos, Jenna literally felt her heart flutter in a way that it hadn’t since the early, heady days when she first met Greg. She found herself virtually tongue-tied and was grateful when Tom ordered a Greek salad and keftades, looking at her for confirmation that was what she also wanted. She just nodded and smiled. In the past when Greg had tried to order for her, she had really hated it, seeing it as a sign that he was in control. Why had she let him get away with it? She should have been more assertive and told him how she felt. It was too late for that now though. At this precise moment, she felt like a schoolgirl with her first crush and hoped that Tom hadn’t noticed. As Nikos brushed past her chair, Jenna could have sworn that she felt a jolt of electricity run through her.
“How’s the ankle?” Nikos asked as he put a bowl of freshly cut bread on the table.
“I think I owe you a big thank you for saving my life, not to mention the fruit.”
“It really was my pleasure,” he replied as she noticed his twinkling eyes. She chided herself for letting her imagination run away with her and tried to focus on what Tom was saying instead.
The location was stunning, high enough to have a view of the sea below but too far from the centre of town to attract too many tourists. She was relieved to find that she couldn’t spot any of the fellow guests from the hotel here and looking around noticed that most of the clientele seemed to be Greek. With no fish ‘n chips or steak and kidney pie on the menu though, it probably wouldn’t appeal to the rest of the hotel guests, she thought, realising at the same time that she was probably being rather dismissive. There didn’t seem much point to her though of coming to Greece and not sampling the ethnic culture. She was much more at home in this simple taverna than she would be at a Greek night run by the hotel. Nikos came over with the Greek salad and rather pointedly, she thought, lit the candle on the table. When he looked at her, she felt herself almost melt into his deep brown eyes. They were the sort of eyes that would be called ‘limpid pools’ in the trashy novels that her mother used to read, and when he smiled, she felt the smile reflected in his eyes as if she were the only person in the room. She hadn’t come to Greece looking for a holiday romance, she chided herself and she’d heard too many tales of young girls falling for waiters, who were looking for a passport to the UK. She wasn’t going to be another notch on his bedpost and she was hardly a girl. Still, he was rather dreamy, she didn’t mind admitting. Never mind Rhett Butler, she thought!
About the Author
Jenna's Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far, and now as a newly released edition in the USA from Booktrope, it promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.
A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.
You can find Julie on her websites:
Website/blog for the Greek Isles series https://thegreekurn.wordpress.com/
Website/blog for book reviews http://www.allthingsbookie.com/
on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julie.ryan.3114
and on Twitter @julieryan18