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I was born in Barcelona and have lived in the UK for many years now. I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often. I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links. My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

Comments (31)

  1. Olga, thank you SO much for your lovely review of Genteel Secrets! Yes, it was shorter than I usually write, but I had a time constraint in order to make the deadline for the boxed set, LOVE IN TIMES OF WAR! LOL Perhaps at some point, I’ll pick it up and extend it…will definitely let you know if/when I do…

    1. Thanks, Sarah. Yes, now you’ve reminded me I have a copy of that boxset… Must remember to read the rest as it is a great collection. Do keep me posted. You know I’m happy to read all your stories. All the best!

  2. The US Civil War is of great personal interest to me (as are all civil wars) and I have read about it extensively over the decades, as well as collecting (almost) every film ever made about it. My favourite series from a ‘factional’ point of view, is Bernard Cornwells’ ‘Starbuck Chronicles’, which have incredibly accurate battle scenes, and characters who reappear in the series.
    Using the idea of a southern woman who falls for a Union soldier (and vice-versa, to a lesser extent) has been a little overplayed in Civil War fiction, as well as the idea that rich young southern women were uncomfortable with slavery, and the idea of the Confederacy. However, I wish Sarah success with her new book, which will appeal to fans of romantic fiction, as well as to civil war enthusiasts like myself who prefer less romance, and more action.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks, Pete. I know of your interest in the US Civil War. In this case, the male protagonist is not a soldier but a Pinkerton detective who is tasked with investigating possible spies. I did find the female spy angle quite interesting, but I agree this will appeal more to people who enjoy a good romance. As Sarah herself commented, the book was included in the box set ‘Love in Times of War’ so it is a given that there had to be a romantic story.
      Take care. (Ah, and next week’s reviews are not particularly romantic) 😉

      1. I was aware that he was a Pinkerton man, but it’s a similar theme, and he is just as much in danger I suppose, working for the Union. Female spies were common on both sides during that war, especially in the Confederacy. Lots of fascinating reading about those times to be had. 🙂

        1. Yes, you’re right. I must catch up on the era (I’ve read quite a bit about slaves but not so much about other accounts of it). 🙂

    2. Thanks for your comment, Pete. LOL, I’m sure GENTEEL SECRETS would not be up to your standards; however, it has seemed to work for people with a lesser knowledge of the time period and who love romance mixed in with the era. I have gotten comments from people, who, knowing little about that age and nothing about the female spy element, told me that this book was a very good introduction into that time for them. So, I’m content with that. Perhaps then, those people can start reading the great Civil War historians!

      1. Hi, Sarah. I have no doubt that your book may well serve as an introduction to that period, as well as pleasing lovers of romantic fiction, of which there are millions. As I said, I wish you great success with this new novel.
        I don’t know whether or not you have read any of Bernard Cornwell’s books, but he carries of the ‘faction’ genre very well, in many different historical periods.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        1. Just looked him up. Thank you, Pete. Just skimming “inside” one of his books, he does give great atmospheric detail…sigh…another book to put on my large TBR pile. Best, Sarah

          1. I have one of his books already on my list but perhaps I should push him up. Pete knows his stuff for sure. 🙂

    3. Fascinating comment, Pete. Back in the 1980s I had a college class on Civil War history, that was different from the typical. It focused on texts and diaries written during that time. You would have enjoyed it. Hugs.

      1. That sounds like a fabulous class, Teagan. Thanks for the comment.

      2. Thanks, Teagan. I am sure that I would have. I am also very interested in the 17th century English Civil Wars, The Spanish Civil War, and the Russian Civil War, but the US one caught my imagination as a child.
        The American documentary by Ken Burns is a monumental piece of television. One of the best things I have ever watched.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        1. Happy Saturday, Pete and thanks for your recommendation. I will check it out too!

          1. It is a narration over countless photographs from the time, with added interviews. Incredibly moving, and flawlessly done.

          2. I cannot access it from here but I’ll check again when I’m in the UK, Pete. It sounds excellent. Thanks again, Pete.

  3. I loved The Dolan Girls and your review makes me think I’ll enjoy Genteel Secrets.

    1. I am sure you will, Mary. I hope Sarah will continue The Dolan Girls adventures. 🙂

    2. Thanks for commenting, Mary. I didn’t know you had read The Dolan Girls! BTW, I thought of you the other day because an Iranian student and her family told me they LOVED the Mulberry preserves I had bought them when they came for dinner….

  4. Your reservation about the extent of the romantic elements puts me off. On the other hand, The Dolan Girls is on my list!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. It is a good, quick read, but see how you feel after reading the Dolan Girls and try the giveaway for Unexpected Gifts. It is a great story and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the historical tit-bits. 🙂

    2. LOL. There aren’t THAT many romance parts… and certainly, I am NOT a steamy sex writer! BTW, The Dolan Girls has romance as well…along with a great deal of historical ambiance…

      1. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against romance though I’m probably less fond of it at my age than I was!

        1. LOL

  5. It sounds like a lot going on for just a novella, but I do enjoy fast paced stories. I admit that I enjoy the mystery and history parts more than romance… but still, you’ve made this sound like an enjoyable read, Olga. Best to SR. Hugs.

    1. Thanks, Teagan! I’ve never written a novella before, but as I mentioned above, time was of the essence, so a novella it became! <3

    2. Thanks, Teagan. It is, it is. The author can be relied upon for that. Fantastic stories. Take care.

  6. Olga, I loved this book! The introduction of the Pinkerton’s was so creative. I love learning interesting history tidbits from Sarah’s stories. Great review. ❤️

    1. Thank you, Colleen…<3 <3

    2. You are right, Colleen. Sarah has a knack for introducing historical figures and events and creating a great adventure to read as well. I loved your review too and reminded me that I had the story pending…;)

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