Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One Chance, One Moment by Judith Kohnen - Book One: The Mandy Story - Added to Personal Favorites for the Year!

This novel was dedicated:
 To the man who has graced many with his unique gifts;
Who has quieted my mind and has stilled my spirit.
Thank you, Barry, for inspiring in me 
the words, the music, the vision.

One Chance, One Moment
Book One - The Mandy Story

By Judith Kohnen

Amanda had a courageous smile on her face when she turned and headed for her new patient's bedroom. However, with her three onlookers moving stealthily on her heels, she had to admit she was a tad bit nervous. As she approached the only room with a closed door, she glanced over her shoulder for reassurance that this was Danzlo's room. Three heads nodded...

For one long moment, she stood with no breath, though her heart beat like the ticks of a thousand clocks; its million vibrations oscillated through her head warning her this new job would be no easy task. Somehow she'd have to get that man to realize that his inability to walk was all in his head--for she and Melissa had gone over his medical records thoroughly in the car. Except for a lack of exercised muscles and bones, there was no indication otherwise...

A stubborn man. She could tell by the square chin and the hard planes of his face. His hair was unruly, a golden wheat color. It was cropped in layers and a bit overgrown. She took in the strong nose, the high cheekbones, the thin top lip. His shoulders were bare and broad; a body well formed, lean and very tense.
Though no words had been uttered by either of them, his glare said it all, those intense blue eyes gazing upon her body fiercely. It wasn't the hot and heavy kind of fierce a woman would normally find in a man's bedroom. It was more like the kind of ferocious fierce a mouse would find in a lion's den.

She swallowed hard, for this lion had filling on his mind. She did the first thing a nurse should never do. She panicked. With her eyes squeezed shut, she began to sing--a habit learned from childhood, effective in warding away unpleasant emotion. "In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. In the jungle, the quiet--"
"Enough!...I don't know who you are, but you had better get the hell out of my room."


Judith Kohnen freely admits that her debut novel was inspired by Barry Manilow and his song Mandy, which has always been my favorite song of this fantastic singer. Ok, she used the name Garry Danzlo, which is a good, though rhyming, name of our male star, so I had to include him during my review, even though there is a quite handsome man on the front cover of the book...

I added this book to my personal favorites list simply because it has so many references of beautiful music or fun use of tunes, because of the storyline itself, as well as the humor combined with a different form of romantic suspense--that of whether or not the power of love can result in overcoming all obstacles...

The female character Amanda is so creatively imagined that readers will immediately fall in love with her and will want nothing more than to see she fulfills every desire in her heart! Let's just say that the man who perhaps can fill one of her dreams is not so lovable... at least at first... Garry Danzlo was once a superstar--a singer and musician, on piano, who was seriously hurt in a car accident. Was he out to commit suicide as his father had recently? He now kept remembering things that had occurred, even that his father who had deserted them when he was very young, had come to visit him, under an assumed name, and they had become friends. Garry couldn't forgive the second betrayal of this man. But since he had lived through the accident, he wanted nothing more than to be left alone. He moved far away, into a log cabin, with only a butler to help him...
There is a small group of characters some all within the family that add to the turmoil when Amanda arrives! Melissa, Garry's sister causes the most
problems when she hired Amanda without consulting Garry and then asks Amanda to change her appearance. Let's face it Amanda is beautiful and is bound to cause problems when Garry's lover sees her. In fact, there is probably a toss-up for head villain between her and the men following Amanda! And then there is Garry's mother who has been told Amanda is Jewish... So before Melissa is through, Amanda is wearing weird, too-large clothes to hide her figure, glasses which are too large and which she doesn't need, and using makeup to detract rather than add to her appearance! Melissa's husband is Garry's friend and business manager so he tries to stay out of things since he's not always around. But then there is Garry's butler and friend, Nicholas, but he so enjoys Amanda and what she's trying to do, that they become close--to Garry's annoyance... And a wonderful little boy who will win your heart, as well as all who meet him in this fantastic book!

But Amanda doesn't need anybody else to frustrate Garry! Just being herself as an efficient bright sunny nurse irritates Garry tremendously. Things like coming in and throwing open the bright curtains, letting that infernal sun in--and singing! 

"RISE AND SHINE. Up-up-up!"
Amanda flung back the royal blue drapes, great shafts of sunshine blinding Garry, whose eyes sprang wide-open. Bagel, leaping on her master's full bladder had Garry yelling his discomfort while the dog's tongue licked, her floppy ears tickled, and Amanda's lively voice rang merrily in song.

"O-Oh, what a beautiful MORNing. OH, what a beautiful DAY. I"VE got this beautiful FEEL-ing.
EV-'ry-thng's GO-ing MY WA-A-AY!

Garry stared horrified at the woman bowing
several times before him. He hauled the
covers over his head, and cried in agony, 
"God, help me, I've died and gone to hell."
"No, no, Mr. Danzlo. You haven't died,"
Amanda told him. "Though, if you don't
 change your ways you never know where
you might end up. I recommend a
happier, cooler place."
It wasn't easy holding back the smile
threatening to break his stern face. The
woman was a clown. Out from the covers,
his eyes pierced hers. Amanda's smile
never wavered. He released his slightly,
and then remembered the night before.
He turned away.
"I suppose I owe you an apology," he said.
"I acted a bit lewd and, well, disrespectful
yesterday evening...

"So, Mr. Danzlo! I'm ready when you are."
Garry jolted at her voice. "Ready?" he asked, his stomach starting to churn with apprehension. "For what, Ms. Fields?"
"For your bath and shave, of course. And your breakfast and all the other fun stuff I've got planned for you today."
Garry's heart t
humped hard in his chest. "Nicolas!" he cried out!

Now, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that things between the two do get closer, especially, as Amanda begins to work her magical healing powers and he begins to get better and better...

But this story goes well beyond the relationship developing between Garry and Amanda. Because Amanda has a background--a very dangerous one... Her childhood had been the start and then her husband, now dead, with criminals searching for her... And a man who is obsessed protecting and caring for her, whether she wants it or not...

And I just have to give you a hint of some of what's coming! Musically, that is...

You know I loved this, right? There romance, danger, heartwarming scenes, wonderful characters, one of whom you will automatically hate, a mother who refuses to consider her son's feelings over her own, a child who excitedly looks to have a family and, most of all, a couple who, through all the fighting and screaming while she nurses her patient back to health, fall deeply in love... All wrapped up in scarlet ribbons for her hair and music, music, music! What more could you possibly want to have in a book that will keep you totally involved from cover to cover?! Some will consider this a must-read; I know I would have greatly missed having the opportunity to read and share this with each of you! Do check it out! By the way, Chapter titles are names of songs by Manilow...I've included a few...just because I thought it was a cool idea! 

OK... you don't have to listen to allll the music...but, well, I couldn't resist...
And, by the way, thanks to the author who created most of the pictures I gathered from across the Web... for your enjoyment! 


Judith has always been a romantic at heart. She adores writing, poetry, music, singing, dancing, teaching, education, and caring for others. It is her hope that through her imaginative talents that she might become a source of inspiration for her readers. Part of her life's path is empowering others toward healing and teaching them how to use their own imagination and intuitive abilities.

She's written over 200 pages of poetry, numerous songs and short stories, a couple of children's plays that were performed on stage, and has begun a screenplay. She served as newsletter editor for Virginia Romance Writers for four years and has coordinated and judged VRW's HOLT Medallion Contest and their FOOL FOR LOVE Contest several times. She has also freelanced for various non-profit organizational newsletters, most of which were entertainment reviews, inspirational articles, and articles on writing.

A teacher of mediumship & intuitive development with a professional background in registered nursing, hypnotherapy and natural healing arts, Judith is doing what she's most passionate about - writing! She encourages you to do what you're passionate about too. "Live for the moment," she says, "for this moment is the most important of all moments."

Judith lives in Chesterfield, Virginia with her husband, extended family, two dogs, one cat, and a bearded dragon named Victor.

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