Self-Published Saturday: The Perfect Sister

Here is SP Saturday, a little late!

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Self-Published/Indie authors with marketing. These authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to marketing. If I can help even a little bit with marketing, I’m happy to do it. This week’s feature is a The Perfect Sister, a murder mystery set in 1904.

BOOK REVIEW

The Perfect Sister is a well-written, intriguing, and engaging historical mystery set in 1904. Katherine, the “good” and “quiet” sister, has never felt good enough in her father’s eyes. When her “perfect sister,” Lorraine, is murdered, and she encounters Lorraine’s accused killer, Katherine begins to learn the truth.

This is a compelling murder mystery/thriller and historical love story. The characters are well written and I connected with them right away. Katherine and Michael capture the reader’s attention right away, and the villains in the story are perfectly loathsome. The mystery held my interest, and I enjoyed the growth that Katherine experienced.

I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. Meath loves writing about little or unknown people, places and events in history, rather than relying on the typical stories and settings.

Contact Gail Meath

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BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self Published Saturday: The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray

Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books every week on a Saturday. The next book I’m recommending is The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, a clever and compelling time travel adventure. See the review, author bio, and cover rating below. Please be sure and share this review with your social media followers. Even if a particular book is not your cup of tea, it might be theirs, and the authors will appreciate it so much!

BOOK REVIEW

When William Wells buys a watch for his girlfriend in 1984 London, he has no idea he is setting off a set of circumstances that will have him running for his life as a murder suspect. The watch is not what it seems, and those who are searching for it will do anything to possess it.

This is a compelling time travel adventure set in London in 1984 and various other time periods. The characters are well written and the action grabs you on the first page and does not let go. As a fan of time travel fiction, the method of time travel is extremely important to me, and the method used here is both creative and fascinating. The rules and nuances of all the time shifts and their repercussions bend the mind a bit, but not so much that I couldn’t keep up. I was entertained throughout, and I’m a pretty demanding reader when it comes to time travel fiction. 

To address something readers may notice, the dates of some events may not exactly match up to reality. For example, the main character went to Blockbuster in London in 1984 although in reality Blockbuster wasn’t founded until 1985 and didn’t spread outside the US until the 1990s. However, this is TIME TRAVEL fiction, not historical fiction. The time travel in this book had been going on for many years and many circumstances were changed. So it’s entirely possible that in this time-manipulated universe, Blockbuster was already in England in 1984. I loved the explanation in this book of how merely bumping into someone on the street could cause a catastrophic event for the whole world. Therefore, a business being founded early in a book about the manipulation of time doesn’t raise any eyebrows for me. 

I truly enjoyed this book and hope to see the characters again in a sequel.

I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens. I also downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

O.R. Simmonds

Oliver R. Simmonds is a Writer, Director and Artist working in the Games Industry and author of The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray.

Before working in the games industry, he spent nearly a decade dreaming up deep, detailed worlds with weaving narratives only for them to be ‘value engineered’ by clients. It was during this time that he decided he no longer wanted to be a frustrated writer and to try to be an actual writer instead.

He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publication of his first novel, The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, which is now due for release in 2021. His second book is currently being edited and slated for release sometime in 2022.

Oliver lives in surrey with his wife and two young boys. His eldest son is named after Doc Emmett Brown and the youngest’s middle name is Adventure (yes, really). It’s not all that surprising that his debut is a time travel adventure then. 

CONTACT INFORMATION

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COVER RATING

I think it’s a very effective cover. The title and author’s name are extremely visible. I am always intrigued by clocks, and they work well on this cover. The bit of added gold is very eye-catching.

LINKS TO BUY

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self-Published Saturday: 10 Great Self-Published/Indie Books to Check Out

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help self-published/indie authors promote their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from editing to cover design to marketing. If I can help promote their books in even a small way, I am happy to assist! I thought I’d attach links and covers of some of the wonderful Indie books I’ve reviewed in the past. Be sure and click on the cover to check out the book description and buy links on Amazon. Check them out and you won’t be disappointed! I’ll do other lists of this type regularly.

This is the first in the Robin Hood Trilogy. The second book is Robin Hood’s Widow, and the third is Robin Hood’s Return. These are five-star reads that combine the Robin Hood legend with Historical Fiction.

This wonderful novel by Gail Meath was an Editor’s Choice for the August 2021 edition of Historical Novels Review Magazine, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. It got 5 stars from me, too.

Another five star read, the Siege of An Loc is a historical novel about the Vietnam War told from the perspective of a South Vietnamese soldier.

This is Book one in the fascinating dystopian series Juche by Adria Carmichael It set in a North Korean concentration camp in the 1990s. There have been three books released currently.

This is a collection of Tanka poems that explore the issue of grief and celebrate the lives of the author’s departed family. This 5 star collection will cause you to both smile and cry.

Another 5 star poetry collection. Louise Bélanger’s Your Word, Your World is a collection of Inspirational poems that celebrates God and his creation.

This is Book 1 in the Talisman Series by Brett Salter. Rome is a boy who accidentally sets a tree on fire and eventually finds out he is really a dragon! Great 5-star Young Adult Series.
This is the first book in the Alice and Trudy mystery trilogy. Alice and Trudy have opened up a hotel that caters to the elderly, and their gang of residents is a hoot!

This fantastic book by Patricia Furstenberg takes you, through photographs, illustrations, and 100 word stories, on a trip through time in Transylvania’s history. You start in Neanderthal times and work up to the present. Really an entertaining and educational 5 star read.

Full disclosure, I am the editor on this book. But it’s a wonderful start to a cozy mystery series by Gail Meath that is set in the 1920s. Jax Diamond, private investigator, and his canine assistant Ace are on the case when a talented Broadway playwright is murdered. It will be released November 11, 2021.

BEFORE YOU GO

If you decide to check out some or all of these wonderful books, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and any other sites you use. Reviews are like gold to self-published authors.

Self-Published Saturday: June 5, 2021

This is my weekly feature in which I highlight a great self-published book. Below is my review of Jalopy by Wes Verde, set in 1928. As always, if you decide to read this very well-written book, be sure to leave a review. Reviews are so important to self-published authors.

#BOOK REVIEW

Etta and her father are all that are left of their once large and thriving family, as illness and tragedy have visited them often. It is 1928, and they are struggling to meet a huge tax burden on their failing farm. Etta goes into town to sell eggs every day, and on the way back she often walks to a secret, hidden place she has found in the countryside. Resting in that place is an old, abandoned jalopy, and Etta often sits in the broken-down jalopy, opens a map she found in the car, and dreams of places she wants to go.

Art, even at over 6 feet, is in the smallest of all of his brothers, and they are all towered over by their strict, controlling father. Art’s father is a very successful and well-to-do salesman of refrigerator units. He spends his days on sales calls trying to convince business owners to switch from ice houses to electric refrigeration. Art’s mother is controlling in her own way and has arranged a marriage for Art. Art is not enthusiastic about any of this, but has learned not to rock the boat. He is going along with everything, and spends his days on uncomfortable sales calls with his father. In his his free time, he is avoiding his new fiancee. Then a night out with his brothers ends with Art sleeping it off in Etta’s barn.

This is a captivating novel that draws you into Etta’s world immediately, starting with the gorgeous book cover. The author does a good job of depicting the drudgery and fear involved in barely scraping by with the tax man looming. The class division in the town between the locals and the part-time, wealthy lakeside resort visitors is well portrayed. Etta is an endearing protagonist, and you will begin rooting for her immediately as she finds herself in more than one life-threatening circumstance. Art’s situation of being bullied in his own family is also well written, and I found myself wanting to knock some heads together on his behalf. 

My only criticism is that the book ended rather abruptly, followed by an epilogue that was set five years later and basically explained how everything turned out. I would rather have been shown what happened than told in an epilogue. That being said, this is a beautiful, endearing novel that will transport you to a time when life was hard, loss was prevalent, and love, if you could find it, was cherished.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. I highly recommend you check it out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wes Verde

Wes is an engineer by trade, a busybody by habit, and a lifelong Jersey boy.

Writing has been a hobby in one form or another since 2006 when he started drawing 3-panel comics. When he is not putting words down, he is picking them up; the “to-read” pile only seems to grow larger.

A fan of nature, he spends as much time outside as possible

BUY JALOPY ON AMAZON

WES VERDE’S WEBSITE

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

Self-published Saturday: May 22, 2021

Self-published Saturday is my weekly feature where I showcase a self-published author, provide a review, and include links to buy the book. As I’ve said before, self-published authors have to write, edit, and market their book, arrange for cover design, and more. They have to do it all, and they appreciate reviews so much. If you decide to read this book today, be sure to put up a review. They are so important to authors. My selection for Self-Published Saturday this week is a Young Adult Time Travel novel Arriving Through Time by Heather L. Barksdale.

Lizzie has been through a family tragedy and is having a tough time, but she is supported by her two best friends, Sam and Jeremy. They are currently navigating high school life and dealing with bullies Gary and Tiffany. Then a class project has Lizzie wondering about her ancestors, and a school trip ends with the three friends hurtling through time, along with their bullies and Lizzie’s secret crush. Although at first it appears to be a freak occurrence, the time travel seems very designed, as all of the teens begin to meet long dead ancestors.

What I loved about this story is that it combined time travel fiction and genealogy, two of my favorite pastimes, and it did this in a clever way. A class project and a DNA test have brought questions about Lizzie’s ancestors to the surface, and unexpected time travel gives her a chance to get answers. This book reminds us that our ancestors were living, breathing, people, not just names on a family tree. They blazed the way for us, good and bad, and everything they did enabled us to be alive today. We also learn something along the way as we visit people and places that are important to American history.

I loved the way time took the six travelers to locations that were pertinent to all of them and their ancestors and gave them both answers and surprises. I have found those kinds of surprises in my own genealogy research. 

If you are a fan of young adult novels, time travel, genealogical research, and/or historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. I received a free copy of this book from the author. I also picked up a copy on Amazon, where Kindle Unlimited members can read it for free. My review is voluntary. 

BUY ARRIVING THROUGH TIME ON AMAZON

Remember if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read this book for free. Just click the link above. Remember to leave a review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather L. Barksdale

Heather L. Barksdale has been a physical therapist, a researcher, a military brat, and now a novelist. She has also traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia seeking adventure. She is an avid fan of historical fiction and calls upon her adventures as inspiration for her stories. She and her husband share their home in Jacksonville, Florida where she enjoys snuggling with her cats and rooting for the Jaguars.

Heather’s Website

My Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

Self-Published Saturday–May 15, 2021

Since I am going to be traveling and attending a funeral today and Saturday, I am putting up Self-Published Saturday a day early. Your Words is a delightful book of poetry and photographs by Louise Belanger. I’ve also added a link to Louise’s new website below. She is currently giving away prizes in random drawings for anyone who subscribes to her website. This first drawing is this Sunday, May 16th. Make sure you subscribe for a chance to win.

This poetry book is accompanied by beautiful photographs and primarily speaks to the author’s thoughts about the pandemic, struggles in life, and her relationship with God. There are also some lovely story poems about nature. I was most interested in the poems about nature and relationship with God. The author shares her feelings honestly and with emotion.

The poem Power in Life spoke to me. It asks the question: “How can life go on when I’ve just experienced this crushing loss?” Having lost my Mom in 2020 and my Dad in 2019 , I definitely can relate to that. I also enjoyed “A Life With You, Now and in Eternity.” This is about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins.

The photographs are well done and are a great companion to the poems.

The author’s style is warm and embracing, and she shares her faith in a loving way. I would read her poetry again.

I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited, where members can get a digital copy for free. I also received a free copy of the print book from the author. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

Link to Your Words on Amazon

Link to Louise Belanger’s New Website. Check it out!

Louise’s Facebook Page

My Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

Self Published Saturday: May 8, 2021

Here is another edition of my weekly feature, Self-Published Saturday. Self-Published authors need our support. If you like the book I’ve chosen this week and decide to buy it, please share the link with your friends and put a review up on Amazon. It’s so important for these authors.

The book I’m highlighting this week is The Milk Wagon by Michael Hewes. Enjoy.

#BOOK REVIEW: THE MILK WAGON

The Milk Wagon is a fantastic thriller set in the 80’s, much of it revolving around a group of high school boys. As an 80’s high schooler myself, this was a wonderful walk down memory lane. This book has the 80’s high school mentality exactly right, and transported me back there as the movies we watched, the cars we drove, and the way we thought were so accurately described. 

This novel was perfectly woven together as both an 80’s book and a crime/murder thriller. There were many twists and turns, and although I am usually pretty good at guessing the “bad guy,” i was totally wrong this time. The fact that this book was not predictable impressed me. 

The characters are so well done, especially the 80s high school kids, that I was sad when it ended. That’s how you tell a great book. You don’t want it to end.

If you love crime thrillers, if you loved the 80s, or if you just love a well written book, check this one out.

I received a free copy of this book from Michael Hewes and BooksGoSocial via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Hewes

Michael Hewes earned his undergraduate degree from University of Southern Mississippi and his law degree from Ole Miss.

A retired JAG officer, Hewes currently practices law in Gulfport, Mississippi, where he lives with his wife and their three sons, two dogs, and one cat.

Link to The Milk Wagon on Amazon: 

Link to other work by Michael Hewes: 

Link to my Goodreads review 

Link to my Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

Self-Published Saturday – May 1, 2021 (Weekly Series)

Below are three books from some great self-published authors for my new weekly feature, Self-Published Saturday. This is a chance for you to meet some wonderful authors and check out their work. Self-published authors need your support. If you decide to buy any of these books today, please be sure and leave a review on Amazon. Reviews are so important to self-published authors.

The first two books I want to highlight today are self-published books that I’ve reviewed before. I will introduce you to the author and provide links to buy the book. There will also be a link to my previous review. The third self-published book is my latest review.

My first book to highlight is Once Upon a Rhyme by Antony L. Saragas.

Once upon a rhyme is a heartfelt story based on true events. Dylan or “Oskie” has experienced great loss even prior to the recent passing of his father, Hollis, who was also his long-time baseball coach.  This loss has made him hesitate to move forward, especially in love.  While cleaning out his father’s belongings, Oskie finds a book of poems written by his father.  As he begins to read them, memories come flooding back and he truly sees the importance of his father’s words.   

Buy the book on Amazon.

My full review of Once Upon A Rhyme is here.

My second book to highlight is The Siege of An Loc by Hien T. Nguyen.

The Siege of An Loc is the story of the defense of An Loc in 1972 during the Vietnam War. It is also a love story between a South Vietnamese soldier, Trung, and Ly, a student, daughter of a rubber plantation owner. As Trung struggles to defend his country, he finds himself falling for the beautiful Ly, but do they have a chance for happiness in the midst of war? We also see the evil of communism especially personified in one of the characters, and two brothers are reunited, one from North Vietnam and one from South Vietnam.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nguyễn Trọng Hiền is originally from Vietnam. In the United States, he is known as Hien Nguyen, or Hien T. Nguyen.  He also uses the name Neihtn online. Neihtn is his Vietnamese first name (Hien)  and initials, spelled backward. Why backward? One reason is to indicate that he now lives on the opposite side of the world from where he was born and spent over two decades of his life.

Hein wrote his first book,  Village Teacher at night and on weekends over four years while he worked a full-time job. He is now retired and spends his time writing and taking photographs of birds, wildlife, flowers and landscapes. He posts the photos on his blog,  Village Teacher.  He published his second novel, The Siege of An Loc, in 2020

The Siege of An Loc can be borrowed for free on Amazon by Kindle Unlimited Subscribers, or purchased outright.

BUY THE SIEGE OF AN LOC ON AMAZON

My full review of The Siege of An Loc is here.

My Third book to highlight is 7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart

My third self-published book to highlight today is also a new review for me. It is a nonfiction book called 7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart by John Christopher Frame.

BOOK REVIEW

I don’t know if all of you have seen extreme poverty or not, but it is eye-opening to behold. I grew up in the suburbs of Cincinnati, and although I’ve seen people struggling, I did not really see abject poverty until my husband was stationed with the Air Force in the country of Panama. There I saw crowds of people living on the streets, sleeping on the ground by night and washing car windows and begging in the streets by day. I was going to college then and passed them every day on my way to school. It really opened my heart to the struggling of others.

7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart introduces you to people in circumstances of poverty and tells you their stories. It also offers guidance on developing your own “helping heart.” The author, John Christopher Frame, goes on to explore the emotions and attitudes most needed by Christians when helping the poor. He takes a closer look at hope, compassion, empathy, gratitude, humility, generosity, and holiness and provides real-life anecdotes from people in situations of need.

This book is well written and will help anyone interested in improving not just charitable giving, but their everyday relationships with others .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Christopher Frame is an author and a faculty member at an online university. He has lived internationally and holds a PhD from the University of Oxford. Publishers Weekly stated his first book, Homeless at Harvard: Finding Faith and Friendship on the Streets of Harvard Square, was “touching, and well worth the read…” John’s passion is combining his interests in theology and social concerns to help Christians become more aware of global issues so they can better live out their faith. He loves traveling on the cheap, visiting outdoor markets, balcony gardening, and working in quirky cafés in his neighborhood. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, whom he met while buying a carpet at a souvenir shop in Istanbul, Turkey. Connect with him at http://www.johnchristopherframe.com.

7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart can be purchased on Kindle for only 99 cents!

Buy 7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart on Amazon.

Just a reminder to be sure and leave a review if you choose to purchase any of these three amazing self-published books.

Self Published Saturday

I’m starting a new feature every Saturday. I will share a review of a self-published book to help Indie authors. I have read some amazing self-published books, and I am happy to help you discover them too. Self-published authors not only have to write their books, they have to arrange for cover design, editing, marketing, and more. They have to do it all. I am happy to help these authors by promoting their books here. If you would like to request a review of your self-published book, just click the Review Requests link on the home page (top right).

My first share will be a review I did a couple of weeks ago of an amazing book by Gail Meath, a wonderful self-published author. Agustina De Aragon is about a captivating real-life woman who fought against Napoleon in the early 1800s. She is sometimes known as the “Spanish Joan of Arc.” Please enjoy my review below and support this self-published author. Links to buy this book are included at the end of the review. This book is only $2.99 on Kindle right now.

Gail Meath brings a legend to life in this beautiful historical romance/thriller based on the life of Agustina Raimunda Maria Saragossa, or Agustina de Aragón, also known as “The Spanish Joan of Arc.” We learn the true story of Agustina’s heroic acts during the First Siege of Zaragosa, her life as a soldier and prisoner, and her romance with her beloved Juan Roca. Set in Barcelona and then Zaragosa, and other points in Spain, we meet Agustina as a girl and then follow her into womanhood, motherhood, and war.

The author’s meticulous research into the life and customs of early 1800s Spain is obvious, as Agustina’s world comes alive. The reader will feel as if they are there, visiting the marketplace and working alongside Agustina in her father’s bladesmith shop. The love story between Agustina and Roca is very well done, and their passion and dedication to each other are painted across every page. 

When danger arrives in the form of the Napoleon-led French Army, we can see the bloody battles and the savagery of the enemy, as well as the bravery of the Spanish people, as they fight off onslaught after onslaught. The terrible price of war is shown again and again, and the reader will weep along with Agustina as she faces unspeakable loss. The author’s knowledge of the topic is impressive, and I learned so much about Napoleon’s attacks on and eventual takeover of Spain. Although Agustina is famous for her acts during the First Siege of Zaragosa, she was also a mother, soldier, and prisoner of war, and it all comes alive in this novel. The ending is absolutely intriguing, and not to be missed.

I require two things from historical fiction. The first is that I be transported to the time and place being described. There is no question I felt transported to marketplaces, battlefields, and even prison in this fantastic novel. The second is that I learn something, and this book introduced me to Agustina herself, and then taught me much about the Napoleonic wars.

Agustina De Aragón introduces us to a compelling real-life legend, takes us into her world, and shows us the realities of war. It is a must read for fans of strong female characters. If you have never heard of Agustina, this book will introduce you in an unforgettable way.

LINK TO BUY AUGUSTINA DE ARAGON

LINK TO MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

LINK TO MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR GAIL MEATH

An Interview with Gail Meath, Author of Agustina de Aragón. Book Review and Book Trailer Included.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Gail Meath

Today I’m excited to share with you a wonderful and candid interview with Gail Meath, author of Agustina de Aragón, which is set in Spain during the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s.  It will be released tomorrow. My review and the book trailer are below.

Bonnie:  Hi Gail.  It is so great to finally meet you.  Tell the readers a little bit about yourself:  

Gail:  I’m from upstate NY by Lake Ontario.  I grew up here.  I have two grown children and two grandchildren, ages 9 and 6.   I started writing in high school and discovered that I was a really good writer.  I wasn’t a very good student except when there was an essay question.  Whether I knew the answer or not, I could flub my way through any essay question and get a good grade.  I was really proud of that as a kid.  

Bonnie:  How did you get into writing historical fiction?

Gail:   I started writing and doing historical research mainly as therapy.  My first marriage was not good and I was unhappy.  I dove into historical research  and writing as a way to escape. I could go to these faraway places through my writing and write about strong female characters because I did not feel strong myself at the time.   I was married 23 years.  I wrote my first seven novels during that marriage, and then stopped writing for ten years.   It was after my second marriage, and with strong encouragement from my  husband, that I decided to publish my first seven novels. Before that I had never shared them with anyone.  And recently I wrote my newest book,  Agustina de Aragón, the first novel I had written in ten years.

Bonnie:  Could you give the readers a short synopsis of Agustina de Aragón?    

Gail:  Agustina was a peasant girl in Barcelona, Spain, whose father was a bladesmith.  She was very interested in the beginnings of the war between Napoleon-led France and Britain.  She hung around the military base, not to find a husband as some girls did, but to find out more about the war.  As she gained more knowledge of the military,  she began to feel the Spanish soldiers were inadequate.  She met Juan Roca, also a soldier, and they fell in love.  When Napoleon invaded Spain, Agustina and Roca both got very involved in the resistance, and Agustina herself rallied the soldiers to fight.  She was a remarkable woman who became a soldier in her own right and literally turned the war around.  

Bonnie:  Your well-researched novels have led me to think that you must have been a history teacher or a historian at some point.  Am I right?   

Gail:  No, I am an accountant.  I have an accounting degree and my own business, but I am winding the business down and will focus even more on writing.  I feel my organizational skills developed in the accounting business have really helped my research.  I keep detailed files for all my books, and that comes from my business background.     But I always loved to write, and it came easily to me.  My father was an artist.  I was never artistically talented in that way, but I found joy and purpose in writing.  He always said to find your passion, and writing is my passion.

Bonnie:  Your books that I have read, Countess Jacqueline and Agustina de Aragón,  are about very strong women from real life who had roles that were not typical of their times.  They are also women who are not as well known as other historical figures.  Are these themes you want to continue in subsequent books?

Gail:  Yes.  For me to write, it has to be something that I can also learn and will hold my interest.  I look for lesser known historical figures  who I can research, and the research is a very important part of my process. I also want to talk about the heroes.  My heroes are strong, but not macho.  They are confident, but not arrogant.  They are partners, but not dominant over the heroines.  This is something that is very important to me, and also comes out of being in a bad first marriage.

Bonnie:  What are you working on now?

Gail:   I’m writing a murder mystery which is more lighthearted and kind of fun, and set in 1920s New York.  I have also started a Civil War novel.  The murder mystery will be published next.

Bonnie:  What does your writing day look like:? 

Gail:  I mainly write on a desktop computer, but I will take a laptop outside by the pool.  I usually write and research all day, starting at 5 a.m.  However, I take plenty of breaks to see my grandchildren, who live right around the corner.

Bonnie: Do you have any hobbies when you’re not writing or researching?

Gail: I’m a HUGE New York Yankees fan and have a room full of their paraphernalia.

Bonnie: Who are your favorite players?

Gail: My favorite Yankees players are Andy Petit and Derek Jeter. My absolute favorite pitcher of all time wasn’t a Yankee for long.  Randy Johnson (the Big Unit, he was called), pitched from 1988-2009, mostly for the Seattle Mariners, but he was a Yankee briefly at the end of his career. 

Bonnie: Do you have any advice for new and aspiring writers?

Gail:  I would advise anyone who wants to write to get going.  Don’t make any excuses and write every day.  Also, do not be afraid to share your writing with the world.  I never showed anyone my first seven books for years.  I kept them to myself and I regret that. 

Bonnie:  Gail, that is great advice, and it was something I needed to hear as an aspiring writer.  It was so great to talk to you.  I really enjoyed Agustina de Aragón, and I can’t wait to read your next book.

BOOK REVIEW

Gail Meath brings a legend to life in this beautiful historical romance/thriller based on the life of Agustina Raimunda Maria Saragossa, or Agustina de Aragón, also known as “The Spanish Joan of Arc.” We learn the true story of Agustina’s heroic acts during the First Siege of Zaragosa, her life as a soldier and prisoner, and her romance with her beloved Juan Roca. Set in Barcelona and then Zaragosa, and other points in Spain, we meet Agustina as a girl and then follow her into womanhood, motherhood, and war.

The author’s meticulous research into the life and customs of early 1800s Spain is obvious, as Agustina’s world comes alive. The reader will feel as if they are there, visiting the marketplace and working alongside Agustina in her father’s bladesmith shop. The love story between Agustina and Roca is very well done, and their passion and dedication to each other are painted across every page. 

When danger arrives in the form of the Napoleon-led French Army, we can see the bloody battles and the savagery of the enemy, as well as the bravery of the Spanish people, as they fight off onslaught after onslaught. The terrible price of war is shown again and again, and the reader will weep along with Agustina as she faces unspeakable loss. The author’s knowledge of the topic is impressive, and I learned so much about Napoleon’s attacks on and eventual takeover of Spain. Although Agustina is famous for her acts during the First Siege of Zaragosa, she was also a mother, soldier, and prisoner of war, and it all comes alive in this novel. The ending is absolutely intriguing, and not to be missed.

I require two things from historical fiction. The first is that I be transported to the time and place being described. There is no question I felt transported to marketplaces, battlefields, and even prison in this fantastic novel. The second is that I learn something, and this book introduced me to Agustina herself, and then taught me much about the Napoleonic wars.

Agustina De Aragón introduces us to a compelling real-life legend, takes us into her world, and shows us the realities of war. It is a must read for fans of strong female characters. If you have never heard of Agustina, this book will introduce you in an unforgettable way.

LINK TO BUY AGUSTINA DE ARAGÓN (Released April 16, 2021). READ A GREAT NOVEL FOR ONLY $2.99.

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CHECK OUT SOME OF GAIL MEATH’S OTHER WORKS: These are great books available on Kindle Unlimited.

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