Indie Weekend: Queen of the West by J.R. Zink #historicalfiction #Cincinnatihistory

Indie Weekend is my effort to help promote self-published and indie books. Indie authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. If I can help even a little with marketing, I’m happy to do it. Below is a review I did of Queen of the West for the February issue of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of The Historical Novel Society. It is set in 1850s Cincinnati.


Annie and Max meet on the Ohio River on a steamship bound for Cincinnati in the 1850s. Annie is extremely upset about being forced to move from her beloved New York, but her mother has gotten remarried to a man in Cincinnati. She feels she is entering the wilds. Max is an immigrant who lives in Cincinnati and is returning home. Despite their differences, they begin to bond. When their paths cross again in the city, Annie is even more miserable because her feminist views are looked upon as dangerous by her mother’s new friends. She and Max begin a romance, which is opposed by Annie’s family from the start.

This book provides some great history of pre-Civil War Cincinnati as it was really growing into its name of “The Queen City of the West,” now shortened to “The Queen City.” The author uses Max to describe the city’s history as he takes Annie and the reader on a tour of its many now-historic places. This was of great interest to me as I was born and raised in Cincinnati. The character development of Max and Annie is a bit slow, but this is the first of a trilogy, so it’s possible that more character growth will come later. We are made aware of Annie’s feminist views immediately, but for much of the book they seem to be used mainly for shock value against her upper-crust family and their acquaintances. When Annie finally truly gets involved in the women’s movement, the novel takes on new life. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, which takes us to the Civil War. Fans of Ohio history and women’s fiction will enjoy this book.

My rating is 4.2 stars, rounded to 4.


Walking the historic streets of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood inspired JR Zink to write the Queen of the West historical fiction trilogy. “I can almost hear the voices of the ambitious nineteenth-century women and men emanate from the buildings as I wander the neighborhood.”

JR Zink grew up in Ohio and earned his BBA from the University of Cincinnati. He enjoyed a successful career as a management and technology consultant and executive leader before stepping away from the business world to develop his right-brain talents as an author. In addition to writing, he coaches swimming and enjoys running, backpacking, bicycling and travel. JR and his wife raised a family and now live in Over-the-Rhine.



Click on the image below to buy Queen of the West, Book 1, and Queen of the Union, Book 2


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8 thoughts on “Indie Weekend: Queen of the West by J.R. Zink #historicalfiction #Cincinnatihistory”

  1. Great review, Bonnie. It’s fascinating to me that Cincinatti was once in the westernmost area of our country. One of my daughters and her family visit there occasionally. They say it’s a beautiful place now.

    Liked by 1 person

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