BY PAT WAHLER
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Blank Slate Press
Paperback & eBook; 316 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
A penny for a promise will change her life forever.
For Jesse James, the war will never be over. For Zee Mimms, the war is only the beginning.
The long, bloody Civil War is finally at an end when Zee Mimms, the dutiful daughter of a Missouri preacher, is tasked with nursing her cousin, Jesse James, back to health after he suffers a near-fatal wound. During Jesse’s long convalescence, the couple falls in love, but Jesse’s resentment against the Federals runs deep. He has scores to settle. For him, the war will never be over.
Zee is torn between deferring to her parents’ wishes and marrying for security or marrying for love and accepting the hard realities of life with an outlaw―living under an assumed name and forever on the run. For her, the choice she makes means the war is only beginning.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
“A vivid, moving tale of the woman behind the man of myth and legend…a refreshing take on the woman who both inspired and outlived her partner’s blaze of glory. This is a book not to be missed!” -Nicole Evelina, award winning author of Daughter of Destiny
“I am Mrs. Jesse James presents a woman who, far from being naive or complacent, shows us that pride and love can peacefully coexist against the most violent of backdrops.” -Julia Bricklin, historian and author of America’s Best Female Sharpshooter: The Rise and Fall of Lillian Frances Smith
“A beautifully spun, emotional tale of love and devotion in the most challenging of circumstances.” -Sarah Angleton, author of Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense
Zee Mimms grew up in the Missouri countryside. She is an obedient and helpful daughter to her parents who run a boarding house, dutiful in every way except allowing her parents to arrange a marriage for her. During the Civil War, Missouri was split between neighbors, Confederate and Union sympathizers were neighbors and friends. Zee's family, the James' felt deeply for the Confederate cause and her cousins, Jesse and Frank fought bravely for what they believed in. After the war, Jesse was badly wounded and a wanted man. He made it to the Mimm's where Zee took charge of his care. Over the course of Jesse's healing, Jesee and Zee fell in love. However, the life Jesse leads is not what Zee's parents want for her. Jesee is still fighting battles from the war, always on the run and living the life of an outlaw. Zee decides that love is worth the risk and steals away with Jesse for a life on the run.
Jesse James is a name that everyone knows, a handsome and cunning outlaw who continued to fight for his Confederate beliefs well after the war was over. However, not much is known about his wife, Zerelda. Told from Zerelda's point of view, I Am Mrs. Jesse James imagines the life that the wife of an outlaw would have lived. Taking the few little known facts about Zee Mimm's life, Pat Wahler weaves a story of immense love, trust, danger and concealment that became Zee's adult life. Zee was a very relatable character compared to her headstrong, fugitive husband. I was very surprised that Jesee James married a first cousin, although their love must have been strong in order to endure all the trials that they went through. Zee's life was a series of moves and living under different names, isolated in many cases since she was not allowed to get to know neighbors. I was even more astonished to know that Zee probably didn't know exactly what her husband was up to until later in her life. I felt strongly for Zee and Jesse's children, born into a world of peril and constant movement, unable to make friends of even use their real names. Even with all of this, Zee's love for Jesse kept her strong and unwavering. Overall, an informative and powerful story of the life of the woman behind the man who was Jesse James.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Pat Wahler is an award-winning writer who aims to pen stories a reader will savor. She lives in Missouri with her family, including a Peek-a-poo pup named Winston; and Bogey, a tabby with an attitude. A fan of good books, history, humor, animals, and the arts (her dream job would combine all of these); Pat draws inspiration from family, friends, and the critters who supervise her time at the keyboard.
A frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, Sasee Magazine, and Not Your Mother’s Book anthologies; her work has also appeared in Reader’s Digest, Storyteller Magazine, and other publications.
Pat is thrilled to announce the release of her debut novel, I AM MRS. JESSE JAMES, in August, 2018. This story of love, loss, and redemption is based on true events and told from the point of view of Zee James, wife of the infamous outlaw. She is also the co-author of a children’s picture book, MIDNIGHT, THE ONE-EYED CAT, releasing in September, 2018. Get ready for Pat’s Christmas-themed collection of short stories, essays, and poetry titled LET YOUR HEART BE LIGHT: A CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS, releasing October, 2018.
For more information, please visit Pat Wahler’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Bookbub.