Publisher: Sourcebooks

Blog Book Tour | “The First Lady and the Rebel” by Susan Higginbotham (aka. #JorieReads more about the Civil War)

Posted Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By:

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary of “The First Lady and the Rebel” direct from the publisher Sourcebooks exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “The First Lady & the Rebel”:

I will say – when it comes to studying the Civil War, I am not the reader most would suspect would be interested. This stems from a bad experience of studying this era in high school – where the focus was askewed towards the Confederacy and excluded most of the context of the North’s position whilst it completely took out of proportion a lot of the crucial aspects of the war itself as  it related to Lincoln and his desire to end slavery.

There was a lot of frustrating moments for me realising that I had a full year of the Civil War ahead of me but without a lot of enjoyment to look forward to because it was all a regeneration of dates & facts; no biographical information on the persons involved, no stories in context or subtext and if it was outside the scope of the textbook, it simply did not exist. In other words, like a lot of structured education – my study of the Civil War was flawed. I was so discouraged by those semesters, I tabled any further research into Civil War History.

Although, being a reader of Historical Fiction – I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for stories which might tuck me back into the folds of this war in a way where my studies failed to take me originally. When I read the premise of “The First Lady & the Rebel” – I thought, perhaps for once, I’ve found the story I wished I could have read in high school. Where there is a balance of focus between the North & South with both perspectives presented in equal measure & worth to each other and where the reader gains a keen insight into what fuelled the war itself and how important it is to remember what caused the division of the States due to how far reaching the end result has become to modern history.

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Blog Book Tour | “The First Lady and the Rebel” by Susan Higginbotham (aka. #JorieReads more about the Civil War)The First Lady and the Rebel
Subtitle: One North. One South. Two Todd Sisters Fighting to Shape Lincon's War.
by Susan Higginbotham
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

From the celebrated author Susan Higginbotham comes the incredible story of Lincoln’s First Lady

A Union’s First Lady

As the Civil War cracks the country in two, Mary Lincoln stands beside her husband praying for a swift Northern victory. But as the body count rises, Mary can’t help but fear each bloody gain. Because her beloved sister Emily is across party lines, fighting for the South, and Mary is at risk of losing both her country and her family in the tides of a brutal war.

A Confederate Rebel’s Wife

Emily Todd Helm has married the love of her life. But when her husband’s southern ties pull them into a war neither want to join, she must make a choice. Abandon the family she has built in the South or fight against the sister she has always loved best.

With a country’s legacy at stake, how will two sisters shape history?

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Presidential Life & History, Southern Lit, War Drama

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781492647089

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 386

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark (@sbkslandmark)
an imprint of Sourcebooks (@Sourcebooks)

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
and #MaryToddLincoln, #Lincoln, #CivilWarHistory or  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Posted Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Abraham Lincoln, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Civil War era, Civil War History | era, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Literary Fiction, Mary Todd Lincoln, Mid-West America, Military Fiction, Presidential Life & History, Women's Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Seven Letters from Paris” {a #memoir 20 years in the making} by Samantha Verant

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

Seven Letters from Paris Blog Tour Badge by SourceBooks

Seven Letters from Paris by Samantha Vérant

Published By: Sourcebooks (@SourceBooks)

Official Authors Websites:
Site | @samantha_verant | Facebook

Available Formats: Trade Paperback

Converse via:#SevenLettersFromParis

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Seven Letters from Paris” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher Sourcebooks, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

From the moment I first saw Seven Letters of Paris adverted for this blog tour with France Book Tours, I *knew!* I wanted to become a part of the readership who not only found a new voice of literary merit to follow an emerging career of but to become part of the magic that eclipsed one woman’s life after a twenty-year search for truth, romance, and a life that all of us would be blessed to find! I was caught up in the synopsis breathing in the life of a woman I had not yet become acquainted with but captured by her real-life Romance whose blurb read like a bonefide Romance novel!

What impressed me the most was how wicked it was her relationship with Jean-Luc had a bit of a false start in France, but a continued connection through postal mail & correspondences with a bit of a wee gap between his seventh letter and her first! The story that is between the two letters is what held me in suspension – my curious heart beating quite rapidly like a hummingbird’s wings and my intent to read her memoir grew out of yearning to know the finer details of her life!

– quoted from the Q&A I hosted with the author

On my connection to Samantha Vérant: 

Early-on when I find an author I feel I can either relate too or simply want to get to know a bit better not only through reading their book(s) but on a personal level, I quickly see if they are on Twitter! Twitter has become such a wicked avenue of connecting with writers I blog about (whether on a blog tour, an off-blog tour review, a library book I attached myself too, or any numerous way a book can enter a person’s life) that I am always most delighted when I find them in the twitterverse! Ms. Vérant’s story inspired me from the moment I learnt of her memoir, and I knew at heart she was a romance lover which is why I had invited her to join my weekly Romance-centered chat #ChocLitSaturdays! We were happily able to connect through that chat for a short bit and I have enjoyed getting the chance to know the writer behind the book!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her through Twitter and privately as well. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

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Blog Book Tour | “Seven Letters from Paris” {a #memoir 20 years in the making} by Samantha VerantSeven Letters from Paris
by Samantha Verant
Source: Publisher via France Book Tours

Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime

At age 40, Samantha Vérant’s life is falling apart-she’s jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck… until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she’d met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion they felt 20 years prior hasn’t faded with time and distance.

Samantha knows that jetting off to France to reconnect with a man that she only knew for one sun-drenched, passion-filled day is crazy-but it’s the kind of crazy she’s been waiting for her whole life. 

Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Samantha Verant (Interview), King of the Mutants

Published by Sourcebooks

on 7th October, 2014

Pages: 288

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir by Sourcebooks

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Author Biography:

Samantha Verant
Photo Credit: Stephen Fisch

Samantha Vérant is a travel addict,
a self-professed oenophile,
and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef.
Over the years, she’s visited many different countries,
lived in many places, and worked many jobs
— always on the search for the one thing that truly excited her.
Then, one day, she found everything she’s been looking for:
a passion for the written word and true love.
Writing not only enabled her to open her heart, it led her to southwestern France,
where she’s now married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met in 1989,
but ignored for 20 years.

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Second Chances & Second Beginnings:

How I have managed to focus on stories of second chances and second beginnings back to back, I dare not know, but the fact remains that part of my appeal to read Seven Letters from Paris is mirrored by my admiration for Up at Butternut Lake; as both are a positive notation on how second chances and second beginnings can erupt out of unexpected hours whilst you were not expecting anything extraordinary to occur. Point of truth is that I think we are always a bit bogged down on the stories where there is not a known positive resolution to the journey two souls take to find each other. Inasmuch as there is such a negative focus out there in the world of books and motion pictures, that seeking out a reprieve that focuses on the purest of joys and the most encouraging aspects of our lives is paramount to maintaining a heart full of happiness. I love seeking out books lit from within with a glowing resolve of warmth, light, and love. I love stories that focus on the heart and soul of the character(s) who tether their lives into my own conscienceness and the best blessing on having discovered this particular book is an affirmation seen at the conclusion of Ever After: the most important part is the fact they actually lived. (am paraphrasing as the exact words elude me)

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Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Debut Author, Diary Accountment of Life, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, Indie Author, Life in Another Country, Life Shift, Memoir, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Scribd, Vignettes of Real Life, Writing Style & Voice