10 Things You Didn’t Know #9 ★ America’s First Daughter

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Available March 1, 2016

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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☆★*¨*•.¸☆

DrayAuthorPhotoSTEPHANIE 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. 

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Laura KamoieLaura 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.

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~✫Review✫~ Death Comes to Kurland Hall by Catherine Lloyd

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Available Now: Kindle  | Hardback


As wedding bells chime in Kurland St. Mary, a motley group of visitors descends on the village—and with a murderer on the prowl, some of them may not be returning home…

Lucy Harrington has returned to Kurland St. Mary to help with her friend Sophia Giffin’s wedding. But her homecoming is made disagreeable by the presence of Major Robert Kurland, whose bungled proposal has ruffled Lucy’s composure, and a meddling widow who has designs on her father, the village rector.

Wary of the cloying Mrs. Chingford from the start, Lucy has doubts about the busybody’s intentions with her father. But everyone else seems to think they make an ideal match—until the courtship is curtailed when Mrs. Chingford is found dead at the bottom of a staircase. It’s clear that it wasn’t an accident, and in hopes of finding the culprit, Lucy and Robert call a truce and begin scrutinizing the wedding guests.

But the widow left behind plenty of enemies, and when one of them is the next to turn up dead, Lucy and Robert discover that the truth is far more scandalous than anyone could have imagined…


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Believe by Jan Walters ~Review~

***ARC provided by San Francisco Book Review in exchange for an honest review***


When Ann Roberts stumbled upon an antique bookstore, she never expected to find an old photo album belonging to a long forgotten relative. As she researches her genealogy and the people in the photos, Ann begins dreaming of one of the men in the pictures, Patrick O’Neil, in vivid detail – almost as if she were remembering, rather than dreaming. When a crazed ex-suitor viciously attacks Ann, she and her attacker are cast back in time to Victorian England, where Ann is mistaken for Patrick’s fiancée. Ann struggles to fit into a time she is unfamiliar with, she faces a manipulative and greedy stepfather, a step-brother with a terrible secret, and her dangerous stalker. Ann must find a way to convince Patrick of the truth, and decide if she wants to remain in the past to have a future.

My Take

Traveling back in time to find everlasting love is a fairly well-used plot device in the romance genre. Several things stand out in Believe that makes it somewhat different from other time travel romance books, including the manner in which Ann travels back. Ann is transported back in time by mystical or magical interference, but the author never really explains who sent Ann back, or why. Although there is a mysterious woman who tells Ann to ‘believe,’ the author never explains why Ann was chosen, the mysterious woman’s connection to Ann, nor how she transported Ann back. This was a very loose thread for me as I wanted a more in-depth explanation. Although the author never addressed it, one facet of Believe I found most interesting was the paradox of Ann being her own ancestor. Ann was also able to travel back with belongings from her time that help her convince Patrick and others she was, in fact, from the future. However, the ease and quickness with which everyone believed her story seemed a little too improbable, even with the belongings as proof.

The characters are fairly well developed, and each has a distinct personality that adds depth and emotion to the story. There were times the dialogue stumbled and took on an almost regency romance tone, but the story flowed smoothly and easily. The element of a sociopathic stalker added a level of mystery and suspense, as well as provided a catalyst to advance the romance between Ann and Patrick. Believe is a good historical romance with a bit of fantasy and suspense thrown in, and will appeal mostly to traditionalists of the romance genre.

Believe is now available on Amazon Kindle