Monday, August 29, 2011

True Vision by Joyce Lamb

As a special treat, while we are reading True Vision for our book group, Joyce Lamb will be logging in once a week to answer any questions about her books.  So, be sure to make a comment below and take this opportunity to hear directly back from the author!

Review by Jan:

True Vision is a mind rush.
book jacketA stranger calls Charlotte from across the street and hurries toward her.   Charlie Trudeau, a small town news reporter, is first puzzled by the use of her given name, and then horrified when she witnesses this woman hit by a car as she crosses the street, murdered in a hit-and-run.   While Charlie tries to help, the woman dies in her arms.  Upon the woman’s death, Charlie receives a jolt to her “other” senses that awakens a latent psychic ability. 
And this all happens within the first chapter. 
True Vision is non-stop action from beginning to end.  Charlie begins to receive flashes of memory from anyone she touches.   And while she’s trying to handle her new psychic awareness, someone keeps trying to murder her.  She soon learns she has a family connection to the stranger murdered by the hit-and-run; Laurette was her cousin.   Their mothers are estranged sisters.   Noah, a police detective from Laurette’s hometown, and her friend, arrives on the scene to help solve her murder, and stays to help Charlie when it becomes apparent she was the intended victim—not Laurette.  From one near-miss murder, to following attempts, Charlie and Noah are drawn together to help catch Laurette’s murderer, and to keep Charlie from becoming the next victim.
And that’s the entire teaser I’m going to give you because I want you to read the story! 
Personally, I think what drew me in the most were the two main characters, Charlie and Noah.  Lamb created two very likable protagonists.  I was immediately invested in their journey.   I also liked her writing style.  She has a snappy voice and perfect pacing.   The mystery unfolded slowly, the romance was believable, and the premise was interesting.  The story was packed with intrigue, family secrets, romance, and a solid mystery that kept me turning the pages.   I also liked the fact that she didn’t spend too much time in the antagonist’s point of view, which is my particular pet peeve.    If an author makes me spend too much time in the bad guy’s head, sorry, but I will skip the pages.  Lamb didn’t do this.  Her pacing was perfect, a page here and there, just enough to strengthen the story without boring the reader (mainly me) into skipping forward.    
Be forewarned, this book is high on the sensuality level and has graphic language.  I’m giving it a Chili Pepper On Fire rating.  The love scenes between Charlie and Noah have enough heat to peel paint off walls, and… oh, my, goodness...  there’s more than just one of these scenes.
Chili Pepper On Fire Please note... there is a Flaming Chili Pepper rating on this one!
            Our Chili Pepper Rating Explained

As always, I have listed all of Joyce Lamb’s books in order below with links to our catalog. 
Hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan 
Joyce Lamb's True Series in reading order:
1.  True Vision
2.  True Colors
3.  True Shot
Other Stand alone books by Joyce Lamb:
Cold Midnight
Caught In the Act   *A Rita award finalist!
Found Wanting
Relative Strangers


:  Request each book from the Bangor Public Library by clicking on the cover  : :

  book jacket  book jacket  book jacket 
  book jacket  book jacket

25 comments:

  1. Hi, Jan!
    Thank you so much for such a nice review. I'm looking forward to hanging out with your readers!
    Joyce

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  2. I feel like I hit the jackpot winning the door prize of her first two books last week! Now all I need is a bubble bath, a big glass of wine, and a child-free evening to enjoy them...

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  3. Thank YOU, Joyce! True Vision is one of our two books to read for our September meeting. I hope you all are enjoying it as much as I did!

    And, Domesticated Gal, you are an awesome addition to our group. Thanks for the comments, and congrats on the win! And, more importantly... I hope you get the rest of your wish! :o)

    Jan

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  4. I haven't been reading lately, too much going on in my life, but I have been looking for a good, take-me-away-Calgon book. (Chili peppers are a bonus) I may download this one and give it a try.
    Thanks for the review!

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  5. I just started this book last night and am a fan already! It is definitely very fast paced which is nice. I like the characters already, and when I'm reading, I can't wait to see what happens on the next page, and the next, and the next..... :-p

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  6. I found this book to be more of a romance than mystery, but you know, I liked it. I agree with your review. It was fast paced and Noah and Charlie were likable. Not my norm, but worth the read.

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  7. I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it, but I was left with a few questions. I see that Joyce Lamb is logging on, and I was wondering, is there more going to happen with Charlie's mother? It was never really answered in the first book, and I assume the relationship issues between Charlie's mother and the estranged sister will be answered in the next books???? Any hints would be welcomed!

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  8. I finished this book in 2 days and if I hadn't had to work, probably would have finished it in one! Really fast paced, and definitely steamy but I enjoyed it. I loved Noah and Charlie and the chemistry they had right out of the gate. Definitely a little more steamy than I had antipacted. Over-all, I really enjoyed this read :-)

    I agree with Melissa about the relationship with Charlie and her mother though... I am interested to see if any of these questions are answered in the following books :-)

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  9. I have a question for the author... I am interested in more info on the psychic lady who lives at the beach. Did Charlie's nana and her have a back history? Why is she helping charlie? And are we going to see more of her in the other books?

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  10. Can we ask writing questions? For Joyce, I notice all your books are sort of mystery/romances. Is this what you always write, or do you have other subjects you like to write about? And who are your favorite authors?

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  11. Hi, Melissa and mayobm!
    I'm so glad you both enjoyed True Vision! Yes, indeed, it's steamy. Turns my own cheeks red when I think about it. :)
    Charlie's mom's story does indeed continue in the next two books in the trilogy. Each sister's psychic ability reveals more about what happened to their mother to make her the way she is. I think of her story as the thread that ties all the books together.
    Thanks for asking!
    Joyce

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  12. Hi, Amy!
    Charlie's nana sought out AnnaCoreen when she realized that her granddaughters had psychic abilities. Nana didn't know anything about psychic abilities, so she visited AnnaCoreen and asked her to council the girls if they needed help. There's a scene in True Vision where Charlie remembers a conversation in which Nana said, "If you or your sisters ever need guidance and I’m not around, I want you to go see a good friend of mine." And she tells Charlie how to find AnnaCoreen. It was cryptic at the time, but Charlie remembers it when she needs to. Perhaps there's some psychic stuff going on there. :)
    And, yes, AnnaCoreen appears in the other two books. I love her character!
    Thanks for asking!
    Joyce

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  13. Hi, Anonymous!
    I prefer to write romantic suspense. Something about mixing romance with a whodunit or an on-the-run story is fun to me. I probably enjoy that most, too, because that's what I like to watch on TV and in movies and read. The perfect TV show, to me, is Castle. Romance. Mystery. Nathan Fillion. Who could ask for more?
    I have many, many favorite authors! Lisa Gardner, Karen Marie Moning, Marie Force, Christy Reece, Elisabeth Naughton, Pamela Clare, Cynthia Eden, Julie James, Janet Chapman, Kate Brady ... sheesh, I could go on, but I'll stop there. And I just know I left out someone important!
    Thanks for asking!
    Joyce

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  14. Joyce, on-the-run stories are my faves, as was True Vision. Loved that book, and True Colors. Couldn't put them down.
    Writing about psychic abilities must be fun because you can make up anything. If you had a psychic ability, what would you want it to be?

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  15. Oh, love the question! How about a magic ability? I would want to make the best foods calorie free! :o)

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  16. Hi, Susan!
    Thanks for the compliments on the Trues. :)
    If I could be psychic, I'd want to see the future. Assuming it's a good future. If it's bad, ignorance is bliss. So maybe I don't want to see the future. Unless I could change it if it's bad, like save lives and such. (Yes, I'm soooooo selfless!)
    As for magic ability (good one, Jan!): I'd like to time travel. That'd be a magic ability, right? But I'd want to have control over it -- not like the poor guy in The Time Traveller's Wife. Oh, and I wouldn't want to arrive in the new time period naked. Unless I show up in the arms of a dreamy Highlander ... OK, now I'm getting off-track. :)
    Joyce

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  17. Do you have a favorite male lead you have written. If so... who, and in what book?

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  18. Hello! I am very new to the book club and have found myself in an entirely new world. I have never read racey books until I met Jan. Now that I have been exposed I have found that I am thinking about the person who has penned the book as much as I am the characters in the book. I just started to read True Vision. I am pleased with the way the story flows and found myself wondering if you write the way you speak? I will try to explain myself. The story flows in a conversational manner and is easy to relate to. Do you approach your everyday conversations in this same manner? I am enjoying the book and will continue to read while I wait for a response.

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  19. Anonymous NYOBG MemberSeptember 13, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Hello, Joyce!

    I very much enjoyed reading True Vision. It had just the right mix of elements: pacing that never lagged but wasn't overly hectic, dialogue that mirrored the way people actually talk (including how men use the f-word), characters who were true-to-life and, for the most part, likable, a romantic relationship that was believable, and a plot that twisted but could still be followed. Great job!

    My questions have to do with the writing and production of the book. It has quite a lot of changes of perspective. Not only does it switch frequently between the point-of-view of various characters, but there are also Charlie's flashes that give still other viewpoints. When you were writing the book, how did you keep all these perspectives straight? How did you keep track of who knew what (for both the characters and the readers), and what had been revealed at a given point in time? Do you write from start to finish, or do you go back and forth along the storyline? I'm very impressed by how you juggled so many "mindsets".

    The other thing I was wondering about is the cover art. I know that authors don't always have control over how their books are marketed, and I was curious about the image chosen, featuring models who appear to be about fifteen. I have to say that they don't represent my concept of what Charlie and Noah look like, based on the descriptions of them in the text. Did you have any input as to the photo selection? If so, how did you come to that choice? If not, how do you feel about it?

    Thanks so much for participating in this. It's a huge treat to get to talk directly to an author (especially when you enjoyed her work).

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  20. Hi, Julie!
    Ohhhh, good question! My favorite hero is Mac in TRUE SHOT. He'd be the perfect guy for me personally -- smart, chivalrous, funny and snarkastic. He was kind of a jerk in TRUE VISION, but he totally redeems himself in TRUE SHOT. Noah in TRUE VISION would be a close second. But then there's Logan in TRUE COLORS ... oh, dear, please don't make me choose!
    Thanks for asking!
    Joyce

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  21. Hi, Ann Marie!
    Another great question!! Yes, I pretty much speak the way I write -- without all the swearing (most of the time). That's what we in the book biz call our "voice." It took me a long time to figure out that instead of focusing on "writing," which often resulted in some clunky narrative, I should just write what's happening in my head. Other writers probably don't talk anything like they write, but that just means their voice comes from another place inside them than mine does. For instance, I don't imagine Karen Marie Moning walks around calling women "lass" and saying "mayhap" all the time. :)
    Talking like I write is especially helpful when I get stuck! Then, I try to think about how I would describe the scene or story to a friend. I have a pattern of figuring out what's wrong as soon as I start discussing it. Which is why I always say that every writer should have a critique group -- telling people out loud what's happening in your book can help you clarify in your own mind what's happening. Plus, they ask questions that you might not have thought of.
    I hope you keep enjoying True Vision! I had a great time writing that book. Even the racy parts. :)
    Joyce

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  22. Hi, Anonymous!
    Wow, you guys ask really wonderful questions! (And thank you so much for the compliments!)
    Keeping my points-of-view straight was pretty easy. Whenever I'd sit down to write (and I do write from beginning to end with some backtracking and editing along the way), I'd first decide whose POV I was in, scroll back in the manuscript a bit to see where I left off with that character and to remind my subconscious what that character sounds like. I also did a lot of finessing in subsequent drafts to make sure the characters sounded and acted the way they should. My critique group is great for nailing me on moments when I misfire on the tone, too. I remember one exchange where I had two guys talking to each other, and my critique group said it sounded like two women talking. Doh!!!
    As for keeping track of the plot: I keep a file going when I'm writing the book that lays out the time line of what happens when, even before the story starts, and what each character knows or doesn't know at what time. The time line varies from weeks to days to specific hours of a day (cuz, you know, you don't want the sun setting an hour after the characters just had breakfast). That helps me get acclimated quickly when I've been away from the book for a few days and also frees up my brain to obsess ... I mean, think about other elements of the story. :) This time line is constantly in flux, too, cuz things change as I go along and sometimes events have to be rearranged. The time line makes it a lot easier to reorganize the story and see what impact the changes will have on the rest of the story.
    Now, the cover art: No, I didn't get to pick that picture. You're actually pretty forgiving with the "they look 15" thing. He looks 12 to me! I'm consulted on the book cover art to the extent of: what colors are the hero's and heroine's hair and eyes. Then the cover artist ignores that and does whatever works for her. I described Noah for the cover artist as "He's Sawyer on Lost but with cleaner hair." But I got Tom Welling about 10 years before Smallville first aired. Don't get me wrong, though. I love the cover, because it's striking and beautiful and I think people would pick it up at the bookstore and look at it -- and that's the whole point of the cover.
    Out of all the True covers, TRUE SHOT's is the best of all. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/qm8EIj. Heroine Sam actually looks like that woman, and the cover is grittier and a bit less romance-y, which is how I see the True series overall. The cover of TRUE COLORS, especially, is way more romance-y than the story is (http://bit.ly/rdsXWI). There should at least be a serial killer lurking in the background behind this woman who looks an awful lot like Heather Locklear but not much like Alex. :)
    Thanks for asking!
    Joyce

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  23. Hi Joyce,

    I'm deep in the middle of True Vision at the moment, but had to take a break to ask this - do you write the romance at the same time as the rest of the plot, or go back in and add it later? I ask only because your books, unlike some other romance I've read, threads the ...chile peppers... throughout the entire story rather than bunching into a few scenes. I can completely see Noah getting side tracked in his fantasies - but that must have been difficult to write if you did it all at once! I'd have gotten just as side tracked as Noah seems to have....

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  24. Hi, Domesticated Gal!
    Hmm, what chile peppers could you possibly be referring to? :)
    I actually do write it all together. The chile pepper scenes play an important part in the story, so they happen among all the other stuff going on. I'll admit that at least one of the chile pepper scenes was unexpected even for me! The characters tend to do their own thing, and I let them, cuz it's more fun that way. Plus, I loved how much Noah loved the intimate connection he and Charlie made through her empathy during their chile peppering. So whenever he got the urge, I let him go. :)
    I hope you enjoy the rest of the book!
    Joyce

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  25. I just want to send a final giant THANK YOU to Joyce Lamb for logging in to answer our questions. Don't forget the third book in her True series, True Shot, will be available this December 2011!!
    ~Jan

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