Important New Book Released

I have been in a writer’s critique group for over a year now, and I’m delighted to be a part of such a committed body.  When you’re not as experienced or as talented as others, it takes a certain amount of courage to put your writing out there to be analyzed and scrutinized.  Yet, my group could not be more supportive or helpful. 

As a retired teacher, I’ve always known about the power of collaboration.  Five and six minds working in concert are much more powerful than one who may not be able to look at his/her work as objectively.  If we can overcome the fear that our work doesn’t match up to others, the improvement will come.  Rather than comparing myself to my fellow writers, I focus on where my writing is at now as opposed to when I first started.  I can see the development and progress, and that provides reinforcement to keep working.

For the first time since I’ve been in the group, one of our members has come out with a published book.  I am so excited to tell you about Jeanne Gale and her new book, Having Everything. Gale, a former lawyer in central and northern California, has been retired for four years, and this is her debut novel.  Though the names are changed, her story originates from a specific case in which Gale represented a client in juvenile court.

Having Everything is told from the third-person point of view. It focuses primarily on Artemisia, a high school senior from the Latino community.  She is living with her father, Bonifacio, and her four younger siblings at a migrant farm in the Central Valley of California.  Bonifacio works as the foreman for Mr. Markilsen, a kind and decent man, in his grape-growing agricultural business. Artemisia’s mother lives in Mexico, but the family has not seen her in over three years.  Bonifacio wants to make a better life for his family. His dream is to send Artemisia to college, but he is working in the country illegally, so it’s uncertain whether this can ever come to fruition.

The central villain in the story is Mr. Trouckman, a competitor to Markilsen.  Trouckman has a deep-seated hatred of Latino immigrants, and yet, ironically, has no problem employing them in his competing business.  Trouckman further demonstrates his poor character by paying off and bribing local officials, including the sheriff and district attorney, as a means to gain favors.

All of her teachers respect Artemisia as an exceptional student and a hard worker.  She receives a scholarship to attend school at Fresno State.  After a school assembly recognizing those students who have earned a college scholarship, Trouckman, with the help of his son, Jimmy, devises a plan to bring down Artemisia and her father.  They frame Artemisia for a crime, and suddenly the future for her and her father is in question.  I won’t spoil the ending of the story for you, but I will say it is quite shocking.

What is particularly moving in Gale’s foreword is that she shares that Bonifacio, Artemisia, and the rest of the family took Gale and her family in after their house burned down.  Things later came full circle when she represented Artemisia in court as her attorney.

Gale’s story is fast-moving and compelling.  She does not write her book for fame or adulation but does want to bring light to a corrupt system and important problem.  I know I speak for the others in the critique group when I say how proud we are of Jeanie for writing this book.  It is hot off the press, released on May 5th in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  I give it the highest recommendation.

Links to purchase Jeanne Gale’s book, “Having Everything”:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/having-everything-jeanne-arlene-gale/1136602559

Jeanne’s book is also available on Amazon in paperback. Unfortunately, the link is not working here. Just type in “Having Everything” by Jeanne Gale Amazon.

44 thoughts on “Important New Book Released

  1. Thanks Pete. Just ordered it from Amazon instead. I think it will be a good book to share with my 13 year old granddaughter who is very concerned about peoples’ rights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 8, 2020 — 6:25 pm

      I’m pleased to hear that, Elizabeth. I don’t have any grandchildren yet (what’s up with that?), but I think that I would be proud of a grandchild who was thinking about others instead of herself at age thirteen.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The last thing you can say to your kid of course is “where are my grandchildren.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. this sounds like a very compelling book, pete. thanks for sharing your glowing recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 8, 2020 — 6:27 pm

      It is one of those books that makes you realize how one experience can have a powerful effect on a person for the rest of her life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this book, Pete. I sounds like a compelling story, particularly as it is true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 9, 2020 — 8:48 am

      It takes on an important topic with guts and points out the hypocrisy of people who will hire illegal immigrants to make a profit, but have no problem turning around and turning them in when they no longer serve a purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. it sounds like you are part of wonderful writers’ group, and it must be exciting to see one of your own get something published. were you part of the group while this book was being written? If so, did you get to see it evolve over time?

    It also sounds like it is an important story for our time; I wish Jeanne the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 9, 2020 — 1:59 pm

      Jeanne is the one who deserves the kudos here. I do feel a sense of pride—not for the minor role that I had in her project, but because it’s always great to see anyone make their dreams come true. It was important for Jeanne to write this book, and we’re all proud of her for seeing it through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it takes a village to write a book!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Pete, for the great review of my book. I look forward to resuming our sessions to critique our mutual writings. Writing a book, in my experience, requires a great deal of advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism. The same goes for publishing a book after it’s written. Like so much in life, persistence, moving teaspoons of the mountain of challenges every day, takes you to your goal.
    Jeanne Gale

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 9, 2020 — 2:19 pm

      It was only after I had been in the group for quite some time that I realized the depth that this incident had on your life. By sharing your story, you are helping to educate others on an issue that many people view in a prism of black and white instead of shades of gray. As an old educator, I’m always going to fight for the Artemesias of the world.

      Like

  6. Sounds like a compelling read, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 9, 2020 — 7:07 pm

      It most certainly is, Bette. It deals with one of our country’s dirty little secrets. Some employers take advantage of and use illegal immigrants, paying them minimal wages as long as they can get away with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having lived and taught in California and the D.C. area, my eyes are wide open to the injustice and hypocrisy at all levels. Sharing your review and adding Jeanne’s novel to my TBR!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. petespringerauthor May 10, 2020 — 6:22 am

        I’m pleased that you are going to give her book a look. I’m curious about the level you taught at and how this influenced what you write about. After taking a closer look at your blog, I see that we share many of the same interests. I’m going to send you a letter this week. Happy Mother’s Day, Bette!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations to Jeanie on the publication of her book. It sounds like a story that needed telling. And what encouragement to have a member of your group be successful in publication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 10, 2020 — 7:16 am

      It’s been such a blessing to be part of this group. I equate watching Jeanne’s book come to fruition to that same feeling I used to get when one of my students accomplished a long-running goal. One of my two most significant role models in education, Nancy—a former teaching colleague, and then my principal—is also in the group. She is one of the best people I know in the world and the gift that keeps giving.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a wonderful group, Pete. They are great friends, mentors and colleagues to have. I belong to some great writing groups too with many published authors among them.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds terrific! How exciting that a member of your writing group is now a published author.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 10, 2020 — 9:35 am

      It really is the same exact feeling as when one of your students hits some milestone. Jeanne is a more accomplished writer than me, and I’m happy for her. I think she and I have a similar view on this whole writing thing. It is more the desire to complete a project and pass on something to others that you feel is important than selling a bunch of books.

      Where does your state stand in terms of the virus, Jennie? I’ll bet you are going crazy, missing your students. Hang in there! Happy Mother’s Day, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can imagine it is the same feeling! Celebrating a milestone with a student or a colleague is much the same. Funny thing, it never occurred to me to write a book to make money. Like Jeanne and you, I write because I am passionate to pass on a message through a story.

        Our state is still having plenty of deaths and new cases every day. We seem to have plateaued, but there is little decline yet. Businesses are hoping to slowly open next week. Fingers crossed. We’re one of the hard hit states. I miss the students so much! I know they feel the same way. Thanks for the Happy Mother’s Day wish. Talking with both our children on the phone today was wonderful! Oregon and Virginia are far away. Best to you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The Creative Nonfiction critique group associated with some adult ed courses I took getting my memoir, “Waiting for Westmoreland” completed wound up with more than my own being out. Critique groups are very useful (provided they’re well organized). Gale’s book sounds like she made the most of both her JD education and her own history. “Writing from life” is wise choice. The book also sounds much like current realities in America.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 11, 2020 — 10:31 am

      Jeanne’s book is so relevant right now. It’s one of the reasons I highly recommend it.

      I think you make an excellent point about critique groups needing to be well-organized. I don’t know how long my group has been in existence—I’m guessing twenty years, with people coming and going. The group rules were set in place long before I appeared on the scene. One of the things that work best is the author can not comment until each member has had the opportunity to express his/her opinions. That way, you don’t get into a back and forth with writers immediately wanting to defend the choices they have made. After each one has provided a critique, the owner of the piece is then able to respond.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the introduction to Jeanne and her book, Pete. Probably a good time for this book. I wish Jeanne much success and adding to my TBR, thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 11, 2020 — 10:52 pm

      Unfortunately, there isn’t a Kindle version, though it is available on Nook. It’s a quick read as I read it in less than two hours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I noticed.

        Like

  11. I have ordered the book. You review it thoroughly and with great conviction. I know I’ll cry through part of it – the injustice and cruelty that some people place on others is heartrending and disturbing. But to know that the author has experienced such success – wow, that’s compelling right there. Secondly, I love reading about strong critique/writing groups. We support each other in ways that allow us to reach for the stars. Job well done to all of you. I’m hoping I can give this book to my 11-year-old granddaughter after I read it, but she may be still a bit too young for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 12, 2020 — 9:32 am

      The content is appropriate for a child at that age. There is one scene where the protagonist is invited to a party, and there is drinking going on. She also doesn’t have a swimsuit and feels self-conscious about that, but there is nothing too graphic. It is more of a YA book, and the reading level might be hard for her unless she is an exceptional reader. Thanks for stopping by, Pamela.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A huge congrats to Jeanne on her debut release! What a proud and exciting moment, especially with a story as important as this one. Wishing you the very best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 13, 2020 — 12:50 am

      I’m happy for her and all of the people who will get a chance to read such a timely book. I think it was cathartic for her to write about something that was such a significant event in her life.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing, Pete. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 14, 2020 — 1:59 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to take a peak, Kevin. I’m especially happy for Jeanne as I know it was important for her to tell this story.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It sounds like an interesting read! Thank you for sharing about it here, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 16, 2020 — 2:23 pm

      It most certainly is, and living in California (though not in the Central Valley), it couldn’t be more timely. Thanks for dropping in, Christy. I don’t think I’ve talked to you since the pandemic began. How are things going with you and your hubby? Staying safe, I hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Pete, you’re such an amazing guy. I just read the review of your book over at James’ blog and it was wonderful. Congrats on the terrific review! Over here, we are glad that the number of cases here have dropped significantly (an island off Canada’s West Coast). I think we are lucky to be on an island with restricted travel to and from it right now. How are you and family? Sending best wishes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor June 9, 2020 — 11:12 am

        Nice to hear from you, Christy. James (Jay) writes the most complete reviews, and I was touched by his words. My wife and I are doing well, considering all of the craziness of the last three months. Our son lives in Montana, and he has gone back to work. They don’t have many cases of the virus there. Debbie and I may have flown right over your home last year because we visited Vancouver in British Columbia and then went on to Alaska (a year ago to the day) because all of those memory things keep popping up of Facebook.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh wow, great timing on that trip of yours being a year ago today. We are on Vancouver Island, which is off the mainland (Vancouver) so YES you likely flew overhead. Nice to catch up with you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice share Pete, all the best to Jeanne. Writers groups are definitely worth joining, both for positive critique and encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 16, 2020 — 7:28 pm

      I lucked into this one and so glad to have their excellent perspectives. Great interview with Jay today!

      Like

      1. Awesome, and thanks. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. What a lovely share, Pete. A book published with the support of a writers’ group is a reason to celebrate for the whole group. Congrats to Jeanne on her debut book. It sounds like a timely story. I wish her the best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 17, 2020 — 10:42 pm

      We’re definitely proud of her. You get invested in someone else’s project along the way as you see a story take shape. It’s an interesting group of people because we’re all retired professionals who mostly had jobs unrelated to writing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was part of a writing group for five years and loved it, Pete. The kind and tough feedback was essential, and the friendships were wonderful. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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