A Captivating Tale of Survival and Strength: ‘On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk’ by Gail Combs Oglesby

On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk is the new release from Gail Combs Oglesby. It’s the thrilling first part of a trilogy centered on historical events through the lens of a deeply personal story and a family saga that is sure to keep readers invested.

On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk follows the story of Sarah Bailey and her husband, Jonathan. It’s historical fiction with a high quality and a lot of excitement. Through hardship and tragedy, Sarah is making her way to a new world. 

Sarah and Jonathan set sail to the promise of a better life. However, they become lost, and hunger turns into a constant companion. Winter brings sickness and claims the life of Jonathan, so now Sarah must cope with her new widowhood and take care of her husband’s brother on her own. Sarah has to survive a harsh world that is not as welcoming as she imagined and build up her resilience to survive the challenges of this colonial life. 

The historical novel draws from the author’s extensive research in genealogy and history as well. It is a book meant to honor women who lived through the harshest days of the past and survived, carving a life out for themselves and their families. Here, the focus is on Sarah’s accomplishments and strengths, showcasing the way of life and the harshness of the environment in a story of love and might.

You can find On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk on Amazon:

On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk is just the first part of a trilogy. Oglesby is currently working on book 2, which will follow the many adventures of Sarah’s great-granddaughter. This opens a lot of possibilities for fascinating developments and the exploration of American history through the time period of 1763 to 1783 via the story of a family and an exciting tale that captures the imagination. Part three will then focus on the time of struggle and strife during the Civil War.

Gail Combs Oglesby is an author who has lived across America, born in Detroit and living in California and Texas. She is currently based in the mid-Atlantic, residing with her husband and fur kids. The author is retired after a long tenure of nearly forty years in Human Resources. She holds degrees in Human Resources and a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco and California Coast University.

Oglesby does not just deliver the novel from a passing fancy. Rather, she draws on historical research that has been her passion for over fifty years. She was fascinated with genealogy and spent decades trying to solve a family mystery. This work inspired her to learn more about her ancestors and develop an admiration for the women of the past. Now, she wants to celebrate their accomplishments, so often ignored in the mainstream.

Discuss it with other readers and leave a review on Goodreads, the premier site for readers. You can find out more about Gail Oglesby and her releases over at her website at GailOglesby.com


We had the pleasure of interviewing Gail Combs Oglesby. Here are the excerpts from the interview. 

Hi Gail, Great to have you with us today! Please share with our readers about your book, On the Wings of the Red-Tailed Hawk.

Hi, I’m retired from a long career in HR and merging my two passions, writing and genealogy. Sarah, the female protagonist in the book, represents the amalgamation of experiences of several of my ancestors and perhaps the experience of some of yours! She begins reluctantly, but as often happens, she is thrust into unexpected, challenging, and sometimes life-threatening situations, and so she has to dig deep to find strength and courage she never knew she had and never knew she would need. 

She loses love, she finds love, but ultimately I think she finds herself. I want people to care about Sarah; if they don’t, they won’t keep reading. But I also want them to revisit their view of history (Thanksgiving, Mayflower, Pilgrim stuff) through a broader lens. It’s amazing to me what people don’t know, what I didn’t know! Sarah is able to acknowledge that some of what is happening isn’t good, and she’s a party to that whether she intended to be or not, and she isn’t afraid to question herself and others. 


Please tell us about your journey. 

I started doing genealogy nearly 50 years ago when you would look for information on microfiche; yes, that’s old! I wanted to solve a family mystery, who were my great-grandfather’s parents. He was raised by his grandparents, and a story was told….but for 45 years, I could find no evidence to support it, none. In comes DNA, and lo and behold, a whole new family appears, and over the course of several years, I was able to determine they are his father’s family. His mother was the daughter of the grandparents who raised him…but not the daughter he thought was his mother. 

Now most of my genealogy work is helping others, especially those like me who have mysteries to solve. But I also realized I wanted to give a voice, a voice to those who had gone before us, who are still a part of us. So many give no thought whatsoever to what our ancestors endured. It was horrific in ways we can’t imagine, but they didn’t quit; they slogged on, and they built lives. Some more successful than others. My grandmother didn’t have running water in the 60s in Kentucky; my father only finished school through the 7th grade. Still, we are able to stand on the shoulders of those that went before us to become more, to be more, to give back more. I want the world to know that the accomplishments of many of us are built n the shoulders of those ordinary people who did things that were anything but ordinary. 

What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?

My success comes from never giving up.

Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about your book?

You can follow me on Twitter @GeneBewitched.


Thank you so much, Gail, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!


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