When you have been reading this blog, you'll know I wrote the first draft of this novel when I was only 16 years old. Well, the first part of the novel anyway, where Maria is captured by Aztec indians and is forced to marry their king. For one reason or other the book ended there, but on retrieving it I thought I could continue the story of Maria's tempestuous life...
Maria Gonzalez was published in 2008 by Rogue Phoenix Press. You can have the novel as paperback or e-book, and you can order it directly from the publisher or from Amazon.
What is the book about?
The novel tells the life of Maria, a young woman who was born in Flanders while this still was a part of the Spanish imperium. When her father dies of the pest, Maria goes to live with her aunt Francesca who has married a Spanish wineseller and now lives in Madrid.
In Madrid, Maria meets a dashing young officer, Miguel Gonzalez. She is literally swept off her feet and soon marries her beloved.
Not long after the marriage, Miguel's company is ordered to leave for New Spain (which would now be Mexico). The soldiers must travel from Vera Cruz to another - remote - part of the country and are advised to take a short-cut through the jungle.
It is there they are ambushed by Aztecs. Everyone thought the Indians were all killed, but some of them took refuge in the vast jungles and there they built another city. All the Spanish soldiers, including Miguel, are killed, and only Maria and a priest are spared. Maria's blue eyes and blond hair saved her, as did the black frog of the priest.
They are brought to the hidden city of Tenochtitlan, which is the exact copy of the one destroyed by the Spanish. There Maria is forced to marry the king. The hight priest sees her as a messenger from the gods, because of of their legends tells about a creature with blond hair and blue eyes.
At first, there is no love between Maria and Montezuma. But as days go by, they begin to aprreciate each other. When Maria gets pregnant with Montezuma's child, he honors her with the title Daughter of the Sun.
But the Spanish find out about the hidden city and start an offensive. When her new husband is killed Maria tries to save the women and children by surrendering to the enemy.
Because of this, she is considered as a traitor to the Spanish course and she is brought back to Vera Cruz to await trial. The person sent out to head the tribunal, Don Felipe, however takes pity on her and offers her a way out - if she marries him.
As Donna Maria she returns to Madrid. During the sea voyage they meet with English pirates, under the lead of Michael Fenton, a daredevil of a man. He too takes a fancy on Maria.
Times are difficult in Europe and war is threatening. Don Felipe is sent to the court of Elizabeth the First to try and prevent a war between Spain and England. Maria accompanies him on this journey. Of course she meets Michael again and can't fight the attraction she also feels for him.
When Felipe is killed, Maria doesn't know what to believe? Is Michael behind this murder? Is he so desperate to have her?
While the Armada is sailing towards England, Maria must find out the truth.