Monday, January 30, 2017

Guest - Anna Brentwood

I write historical fiction. Why? The simple answer is because I love history. I love delving into past eras that fascinate and attract me, but it is more complex than that. Aside from learning/perfecting craft, writing allows one to go within, to pull from your deepest psyche, to stretch, to open to universal forces, to explore other worlds, past and future times and best of all, to create your own. There is a mystical quality to the states of mind you experience; exhilarating, frustrating and sometimes as eerie as hell, especially when the people, places and events you think you made up turn out to be very real, not fiction at all, the characters coming alive and telling you how it was and why.

My first novel, The Songbird With Sapphire Eyes (TSSE) takes place during the early 1920’s. It started out as a vivid dream and became the basis for the Sapphire Songbird Series. I became convinced it was a past life memory—or a ghost when a young girl named Hannah haunted me for years before I seriously wrote her story. Hannah, yearned for a life far more glamourous than the one she had and was willing to do anything to get it. Using mental images of people, places and events recalled from those dreams and even undergoing hypnosis, I was disconcerted to discover all of that dream wasn’t so fictional.

Anthony’s Angel, my current work in progress is slated for release summer 2017. It takes all three of the Mermaid’s Treasure, then again in TSSE when Johnny Gallo bought it for Hannah also surfaces again. 
books in the series, full circle. It continues Hannah’s story by telling her son’s. The mysterious, mystical songbird brooch mentioned in the prequel to the series,

Raised in a Catholic boarding school, Anthony Gallo is a quiet, fifteen-year-old who worships the important stranger he calls papa. Saved by a dream, when a beautiful angel warns him of danger and a fire destroys his school, a recovering Anthony goes to live with papa—Brooklyn gangster and former rum-runner, Johnny Gallo. Growing up among Johnny’s colorful, criminal cronies, obedient Anthony always makes his autocratic father proud until in his final year of law school, he falls in love with someone Johnny finds unsuitable. When Anthony’s fiancĂ© ditches him and he discovers his father’s part in the breakup, things between the two men explode.  Anthony breaks Johnny’s heart by dropping out of school to enlist in the Army Air Corps and fight.

World War ll, the 1930’s and the 1940’s are a far cry from the glory days of the roaring twenties, but despite the hardship and strife, it is an exciting and challenging time in world history, and a perfect backdrop for the adventures that follow.

From Brooklyn, to Chicago, Missouri and finally ending in rural Kansas, Anthony’s journey, unwittingly a reverse of the one his mother took, teaches him much. Along the way to find himself, he finds love and learns love lasts forever, home is where the heart is and the only connections worth having are the ones that come from the heart.

Anthony’s Angel emphasizes the multitudes of ties that bind all of us, our many relationships, their varieties and complexities, and how in living life our choices and our tragedies guide us to where we need to be.


Anna Brentwood's Sapphire Songbird series began with dreams that so haunted her they became a personal quest to explore the past. An avid reader, Anna interweaves true historical people, places and situations into stories about interesting characters whose lives take them on journeys we can all enjoy and perhaps learn something meaningful from. For more info on this author and/or to purchase her books.

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