Anna K. Sargent
Anna K. Sargent writes historical fiction set in Texas’s colorful past, and yet her books are really about identity—who we are and how we became who we are. Anna was well into a successful career as a writer and editor. Then one day, life “threw a craving” on her, as they say in Texas. Her spirit wanted to do what her spirit wanted to do. She wanted to write historical fiction, because she loves history and she loves stories and she loves Texas.
Sargent had worked as a journalist for years, starting out as a newspaper reporter. She went on to be the editor of two newspapers and later was a publicist, communications director, and magazine editor. Through it all she had an abiding passion for the place of her heart and its history.
She left her career and found herself again through writing and studying that place. Lucky for her, Texas has an amazing history, full of characters and adventure and extremes of weather and landscape. How people dealt with the place—and how they still deal with it—that’s the interesting part.
Her goal is to convey the complexity of Texas’ rich cultural past and suggest how it informs the present. She is Texan through and through and part of every person, battle, tall tale, and twist of history that led Texans to where they are.
The Legend of Juan Miguel
Equal parts history and mystery, romance and hero’s journey, this is a good old-fashioned Texas tale with a twist. Sargent revisits Texas in the late 19th century, when the West began and Texas was in a border conflict with Mexico. But in this story, the hero is Hispanic.
Sargent asks us to cast aside what we know about identity and the history and mythology we’ve been taught. Ride along with the young Juan Miguel as he uses every guise and all his courage to win back his fortune, his good name, and his lost love. Deprived unjustly of his birthright by ambitious Anglo ranchers, the son of the wealthiest Tejano in Texas is spurred on by a forbidden passion for the woman who is married to one of those ranchers.
Handsome, loyal, brave, and cunning, this caballero reinvents himself over and over and becomes a Hispanic hero for the ages.
The Passion of Juan Miguel
Juan Miguel, the heir of a wealthy Spanish ranching family whose love of a woman sent him on a twisted journey, returns to Galveston a grieving widower. Seeking refuge in the persona of Senor Zamora, one of his many disguises, he is shanghaied into helping a group of dockworkers in their strike against wealthy ship owners. At one of their protests, he encounters a priest from a former life who persuades him to return a few months later as Jean Marc LaBlanc, a rowdy Cajun fisherman, with the dangerous mission of spying on a ring of smugglers in league with the shippers.
Jean Marc puts together a crew to man his small fishing boat and sails up and down the Texas coastline trolling for information on how the shippers are staying afloat with only a small contingent of Negro workers to replace the dockworkers. He befriends a beautiful Irish girl and her brother, one of the strike leaders, as well as a lovely Italian girl, a talented singer whose father owns a fleet of fishing boats.
Caught between his feelings for two women and conflicted by memories of his beloved Marguerite, he navigates a world populated with colorful emigrants, rich dilettantes, and corrupt businessmen, all the while running from a county sheriff who has discovered his true identity.
Handsome, loyal, brave, and cunning, this caballero continues to reinvent himself over and over as he battles the rich and powerful.
The Return of Juan Miguel
Juan Miguel del Valle is drawn into the thick of a brewing Mexican rebellion when he and his daughter move to El Paso in the summer of 1897. He vows to stay out of the fight, but the injustices he sees around him in the turn of the century border town, which is a hotbed of rebel plots, compel him to sympathize with the rebels.
It’s been eight years since Juan Miguel nearly died defending the dockworkers of Galveston and he still bears the scars. Although he is reluctant to become embroiled in another controversial cause, when a suspicious bullet whizzes past his ear and he realizes he’s being spied on, he agrees to use his political connections in Washington to aid the rebels. While in Washington, Juan Miguel only puts himself in more danger in a town filled with political intrigue. In spite of that, he finds romance with a Spanish princess just as the threat of war with Spain looms and separates them. Rattled and careless and sure he’s lost the woman he loves, Juan Miguel gives himself away and reveals his real identity.
He flees into the Sierra Madres, looking for whoever is out to kill him among a bandido gang, a convent of German nuns, the card sharks at a fancy hotel, and the richest and most powerful in Mexico.