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Gabriella Saab Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Last Checkmate (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Daughters of Victory (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Gabriella Saab is a historical fiction novelist from Mobile, Alabama that is best known for her debut novel “The Last Checkmate” which she published in 2021.

While her family is of Lebanese heritage, they lived in Madison, Mississippi for years but Gabriella spent much of her childhood in Alabama.

She studied business administration majoring in marketing at the Mississippi State University but she hardly practiced since she was more interested in Ballet.

She grew up with a huge interest in Mobile Ballet until it conflicted with her studies. But she decided to put ballet on the back burner until she finished her studies.

She would then apply and got a job as a ballet instructor at the midtown Mobile location of Pure Barre. It was while she was teaching ballet that she got interested in writing which she now considers her full-time profession.
In addition to her novels, Saab is also a cohost of a recurring community and monthly chat on Twitter that celebrities the love of writing and reading historical fiction.

Gabriella always knew that writing is something she wanted to do from a very early age. Right from when she was a student at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, she began preparing for life as an author in adulthood.

While she was still a student, she began learning the ins and outs of the publishing industry and after graduating from Mississippi State University, she had a good grasp of how things worked.

Gabriella Saab decided to pursue marketing since she believed it would make it easier to promote her published works or if she did not become an author, she could use it for other pursuits.

With a marketing degree in her back pocket, she began writing her novel in 2018 while also teaching ballet and doing some marketing for Sarah B. Atchison. In 2020, she signed with a literary agent which was quite a feat, given that she had only been writing for two years.
She had been fast off the blocks writing her first draft in six months before she started pitching to agents. Even though the pandemic somewhat slowed her down, she signed with William Morrow in the same year and was published a year later.

Gabriella Saab’s inspiration for her debut novel “The Last Checkmate” came from many different places. Nonetheless, she has said that the main source was the man to whom the book is dedicated – her grandfather.

In 2019, she was in the process of seeking literary representation having written a rough draft a few months earlier. It was at this time that Poppy her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. She quit everything and became one of his caretakers both in the hospital and at home.

She has also been influenced by global and familial sources. Her paternal grandmother was a member of “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service” and seared in World War II under the US Navy. Her paternal grandfather was in the United States Army and served in Japan.
Gabriella also finds inspiration from the Polish resistance movement as she visited Poland to glean survivors’ insights about the Second World War. She particularly learned a lot about the “Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz,” which had many women that were forced to perform for the guards at Auschwitz and at prisoner executions.

She thought a lot about women who loved their ballet skills and had given their all to become good at it, only to be forced to use it to keep themselves alive.

Gabriella Saab’s work “The Last Checkmate,” tells the story of a youthful resistance worker from Poland sent to prison at Auschwitz for her political activities. At the camp, she is forced to play chess to survive and in the process fights to bring justice to the man that destroyed her family.

Maria Florkowska is a young woman that shows boldness beyond her years. She is also an avid chess player and a daughter who works with the underground resistance in Poland to undermine the Nazis in Warsaw.

But she is taken by the Gestapo and sent to Auschwitz while her entire family is killed. When Karl Fritzsch the camp deputy realizes how good she is at chess he makes her play him for the entertainment of the guards at the camp. But he intends to kill her once he tires of her skills.

Maria makes friends with a Catholic priest and in trying to avenge her murdered family she plays chess to survive. For four years her strategy is to fight, live and survive as she provokes the camp’s commander trying to orchestrate his downfall.
It is only when the man falls can she hope to see him punished and avoid the gruesome fate he has planned for her. As she executes her plan toward the end of the war, she challenges Fritzsch to one more game certain to end in justice or failure, death or life.

“Daughter of Victory” by Gabriella Saab is a brilliant work spanning the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union and going back to the Russian Revolution. It follows two incredible women whose fates are intertwined by the tragedy of war and family ties.
The novel opens in Russia in 1917 where Svetlana Petrova is an educated and very beautiful woman that went against their aristocratic family and became a member of the freedom-seeking revolution.

She has just been released from prison after years to find her socialist party is going head to head with the Bolsheviks that have been exhibiting dictatorial tendencies.

Her uncle who was a freedom champion has been killed by Orlova a mysterious assassin. She is known for blinding her victims before murdering them brutally.

Svetlana is determined to avenge her uncle by taking out Orlava, even as she goes on a quest to be reunited with her daughter whom she last saw several years back.

Fast forward to 1941, and Svetlana is an obscure middle-aged woman that has invited her eighteen-year-old granddaughter Mila Rozovskaya to come to see her. She wants to protect her from the Nazis she is sure will invade the USSR.
When the enemy finally arrives, she sees in her granddaughter the same od passion and zeal she once had. As Mila fights old enemies and dangerous secrets threaten all of which they hold dear and they might have to confront some long-buried past.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gabriella Saab

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