Drawing from thousands of letters and original sources, Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie reveal the fascinating, untold story of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter. Patsy was one of the most influential women in American history: not only the progeny of a founding father – and the woman who held his secrets close to her heart – but a key player in the shaping of our nation’s legacy. And her story is one seldom told, until now.
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Available March 1, 2016
About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER:
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
☆¸.•*¨*★☆About the Authors☆★*¨*•.¸☆
STEPHANIE DRAY is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.
Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
Available December 1 on Amazon Kindle
***ARC received from San Francisco Book Review in exchange for an honest review***
Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh, refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and her ascendance to the throne.
Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman, Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices.
From the decadent halls of Rome to the golden sands of Egypt, Zenobia fights for power, for love, and for her son. But will her hubris draw the wrath of the gods? Will she learn a “woman’s place,” or can she finally stake her claim as Empress of the East?
She was born for something more – greatness, power. Why would the gods have put this keen interest in her heart, this yearning for politics, unless it serves some purpose?
Daughter of Sand and Stone is a richly woven tapestry of words that creates a Persian desert full of color, scent, and texture. I found myself inhaling to catch the scent of spices on the warm desert breeze I couldn’t feel. Or straining to hear the tinkling of water as I sat under the shady palms of the desert oasis. That’s how beautifully detailed this book is.
Not much is factually known about Zenobia and the author has taken many liberties, by her own admission. This in no way detracts from the story, but rather enables the author to create a world full of conflict and intrigue. Libbie Hawker has written a captivating and tragic tale recounting the life of an enigmatic woman in rich and vivid detail. The author imagines Zenobia as a woman with desires and ambitions, destined to follow in the steps of Cleopatra and Dido, in a time when a woman’s greatest hope was for an advantageous marriage. She makes Zenobia real – a daughter, sister, mother, lover, Empress – and not just the small footnote in the history of the Roman Empire she has been relegated to.
The Huffington Post wrote an article in September detailing the factual aspects of Zenobia’s life and her fight against the Roman Empire. At a time when Palmyra is once again being destroyed by invading forces, Daughter of Sand and Stone brings a historically and politically important city, and the woman who led it, back to life.
***ARC received via Netgalley in return for an honest review***
When Alizée Benoit, a young American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her arts patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends and fellow WPA painters, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who, while working at Christie’s auction house, uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?
Entwining the lives of both historical and fictional characters, and moving between the past and the present, The Muralist plunges readers into the divisiveness of prewar politics and the largely forgotten plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. It captures both the inner workings of New York’s art scene and the beginnings of the vibrant and quintessentially American school of Abstract Expressionism.
B. A. Shapiro explores one of the most turbulent times in American history. The popular sentiment in the U.S. at the time was to stay out of events in Europe and concentrate on recovering from the Great Depression. The Muralist draws on many emotions by personalizing the struggle of European refugees fleeing from Hitler’s armies and the families in the U.S. fighting for their relatives’ freedom and safety – fear, anger, sadness, and frustration just to name a few. Shapiro does an excellent job of articulating the political turmoil of time as well as the artistic forces behind the Abstract Expressionist movement.
I enjoyed The Muralist for many reasons – the history behind the WPA, the background of the Abstract Expressionist artists, and most especially the Isolationist history of pre-WWII America. The characters are engaging, and I found the interaction between Alizee and the real Expressionist artists intriguing – enough so that I was disappointed to learn that Alizee is completely fictional as is her art. The narrative of the Jewish refugees and their resulting plight as they were turned away by the United States infuriated me in a way history class never did. At the same time, I found it easy to put this book down. It didn’t call for me to keep reading, and I had to block time out to finish it. I would still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history, art, politics, and mystery.